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Pease International Tradeport Water System Notice

Updated March 18, 2015

NH Department of Health and Human Services Presentation and PFC Fact Sheet

On Monday, March 16th, Rick Cricenti, Director of the Emergency Services Unit, NH Department of Health & Human Services, addressed City Council regarding the Haven Well contaminant detection and subsequent blood test funding. He provided the following fact sheet on Perfluorinated Chemicals (PFCs). To view his presentation,
scroll to 1 hour and 3 minutes here:



Pease International Tradeport Water System Update

The City of Portsmouth's Water Division has been actively working with the United States Air Force (Air Force), the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) in response to the detection of elevated levels of the unregulated contaminant perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) from the Haven Well, one of three wells that serves the Pease International Tradeport and the New Hampshire Air National Guard base at Pease. PFOS is one of a class of chemicals known as PFCs or perfluorochemicals. Because the level of PFOS exceeded the "provisional health advisory" set by the EPA, the well was shut down by the City of Portsmouth on May 12, 2014 and since that time it has been physically disconnected from the system. A number of actions have been taken by the project team. The following links provide detail regarding those actions to date:


Date: May 23, 2014

Public Informational Meeting to Discuss Drinking Water Issues at Pease Tradeport

Concord, NH - The  New  Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, the New  Hampshire  Department  of Health  and  Human  Services'  Division  of Public   Health  Services,   and   the   City   of  Portsmouth  will host a
public  informational  meeting  to  discuss  and answer questions about the discovery  of an unregulated contaminant, perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, at a  level  that  exceeded the "provisional health advisory", in the drinking water supply that  serves  the businesses and tenants at Pease Tradeport. Anyone  with  concerns or questions is invited to attend this informational session.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014, 6:00 PM


NH Department of Environmental Services Offices
222 International Drive, Suite 175
Pease Tradeport
Portsmouth, NH



Date: May 22, 2014

Contact: Brian Goetz, (603) 766-1420

On Monday May 12, 2014, City of Portsmouth staff were notified by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) that water sampling results for the Haven Well showed that perfluorooctanesulfonic acid, an unregulated contaminant, exceeded the provisional health advisory levels recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency.  The Smith and Harrison wells also had levels of this unregulated contaminant in their water but they were well below the advisory levels. As a precautionary measure, the City took the Haven Well immediately off line as recommended by NHDES Drinking Water and Groundwater Bureau.  Therefore, all sources of supply currently serving the Pease Tradeport Water System are below the provisional standard


May 22, 2014 News Release and Information regarding Pease International Tradeport Water System

City of Portsmouth Information Regarding Pease International Tradeport Water System

Additional information related to this issue can be found by clicking here.

Union Leader Article - May 22, 2014


To summarize key points:

  • The Haven Well will remain off-line indefinitely. 
  • The City is not in violation of any state or federal drinking water standard.  This is an unregulated compound of concern and regulators and the City are taking conservative precautionary measures.
  • The Pease and Portsmouth water systems consist of two separate zones that are isolated from each other, but interconnections exist between the two systems for temporary back up and in case of emergencies.  The water that feeds the Portsmouth zone (which also serves portions of Greenland, Madbury, New Castle, Newington, Madbury and Rye) was tested last Friday for this unregulated compound and none were detected. 
  • There is currently sufficient water to supply the Pease system customers. Historically, the Haven Well provided 46% of the water to the Pease system. To make up for that source, the water operations staff is providing supplemental water to Pease through the Portsmouth system.
  • The City is working with regulators to continue investigation of this issue and options with respect to treatment and/or replacement of this water source.

We will continue to provide updated information as we have it.

The City takes water quality and safety seriously and is working closely with the regulators to learn more about this unregulated compound.  In the meantime the Haven Well will remain off line.  Questions related to this issue are to be directed to Brian Goetz at (603) 766-1420.




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