Water Treatment Plant

The newly constructed UNH/Durham Water Treatment Plant

UNH/Durham Water Treatment Plant

The UNH-Durham Water System is a jointly operated water system, meaning that both UNH and the Town of Durham contribute to the production of safe drinking water. Your water comes from combined sources provided by UNH and/or the Town at any given time. There are 1,300 water meters in the Town’s System, which are read monthly and billed quarterly and over 200 UNH meter locations.

The University owns and operates the Surface Water Treatment Plant, which includes the Lamprey River Pump Station, and the portion of the water distribution system serving the University. The brand new Water Treatment Plant (WTP) became operational on March 13th, 2020 and replaces the Arthur Rollins Treatment Plant that was originally constructed in 1935. The raw water is supplied to the treatment plant from a reservoir on the Lamprey River and/or the Oyster River, or the Spruce Hole Well. This well serves a dual purpose: (1) to convey river water from the Lamprey River to artificially recharge the underlying aquifer; and (2) to convey groundwater from the Spruce Hole Well to the UNH-Durham Water System. In the treatment process chemicals are added to remove impurities through settling. The water is then filtered through layers of anthracite coal and sand. The final stage of treatment involves the addition of chlorine for disinfection, fluoride to minimize tooth decay, sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) for pH control, and blended phosphate to minimize corrosion of the piping system. The maximum capacity of the WTP is about 2 million gallons per day.

The Town of Durham owns and operates the Lee Well and Pump Station, Foss Farm and Beech Hill Storage Tanks, the Town reservoir behind the Wiswall Dam on the Lamprey River, Technology Drive and Madbury Road pressure stations and the portion of the distribution system serving the residents and businesses of the Town. The Town’s portion of the water system is under direct control of the Durham Public Works Department. The Lee Well is a gravel packed well located on Angel Rd. in Lee, N.H. The Town of Durham owns the land on which the wellhead and pump house are sited. The well has an estimated safe yield of approximately 550,000 gallons per day. The well water is naturally filtered underground. Water pumped into the distribution system has chlorine added as a disinfectant, fluoride to minimize tooth decay, sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) for pH control, and blended phosphate to minimize corrosion of the piping system.