inchester will receive about $3.3 million in federal loan and grant funding to cover the cost of upgrades to a section of its water system.
U.S. Sens. Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen, and U.S. Rep. Ann M. Kuster — New Hampshire Democrats — recently announced the awarding of an approximately $2.6 million loan and a $703,000 grant to the town.
The funds are from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s rural development program, and will help address health and sanitation problems with Winchester’s aging water distribution system, the release sent by Hassan’s office notes. That includes inadequate water pressure and lack of available water storage for the system, according to the release.
The system serves about 2,800 residents through 1,121 service connections.
The project will include purchasing and installing a new 500,000-gallon water tank, Winchester Water Superintendent Rick M. Meleski said Monday. It will also involve replacing 6-inch and 10-inch water mains on and in the area of Richmond Road, he said.
The new water mains will be 12 inches in diameter, which Meleski said is an adequate size for meeting water customers’ demands and having high enough flows for fire protection.
The new tank will be placed at a higher elevation than the current tank and will have two cells within it to store water, he said. Water will be mixed between the two cells, allowing for the water to remain fresher and be of better quality than it is now in a single tank, he said.
In addition, if one cell is taken offline for maintenance or repairs, water will still be available for use from the other cell, he said.
The project will also include the installation of a booster pump station by the intersection of Elm Street, Woodard Avenue, and Clark, Old Chesterfield and Old Westport roads, Meleski said.
The town’s water system dates back to 1947, with sections added in the 1950s, he said. The section that will be upgraded in this project is within the oldest part of the system.
Voters at town meeting approved the project in March, 296-138.
The town is scheduled to pay back the loan over 30 years at a 2.75 percent interest rate, according to a project announcement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture linked to the news release.
Town officials said in February that the loan would be paid through water user fees and would not affect property tax rates.
Meleski said he hopes the water tank installation and system upgrades will happen in 2019.
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