The Plymouth Village Water and Sewer District has decided to join a small, but hopefully growing, coalition of impacted entities to challenge the recent process by which NHDES set standards for four PFAS chemicals. We did not take this step lightly, but the new rules will have a significant financial impact on the customers of our small water and sewer district. These new regulations will create a massive unfunded liability that the customers of the Plymouth Village Water and Sewer District, along with every other municipal utility in NH will be expected to absorb, without any consideration to the immediate or long term impacts on the users or sustainability of the systems.
We believe that the rushed rulemaking process leaves our customers and the community in a wholly untenable situation: forced to comply with a very aggressive set of rules without any indication of how and to whom the costs will be allocated. We cannot afford to adopt a “wait and see” attitude given the magnitude of the cost and the potential consequences to the District. We are in the environmental protection business right along with NHDES, we work with them every day, and we’re certainly not opposed to appropriate regulation based on sound science and consideration of the costs and benefits of the regulations. However, without the funding to support implementation this is an unfunded mandate that we cannot absorb or passively accept. We respect the folks at DES and understand their motivation but we believe that it did not have to be this way – with a little more time and a lot more discussion and collaboration with those in the field we could likely have achieved a more workable result. It is our hope that this challenge will result in a forced “do over” that can ultimately lead to the environmental protections that we all want at a price that we can all afford.
The Commissioners are trying to find ways to economize and better control administrative costs. As of July 1, 2019, the District will be reducing office staff by one full time position and contracting for accounting and financial management services, which will result in a saving of about 20%. Furthermore, if the District can modify office hours a bit, the cost savings could be closer to 40%. Consequently, the District will be conducting a 6-month experiment to see if reducing the office hours will have major impact on customer service. Beginning July 1st, the office will only be open on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday from 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM, however, we will continue to be available to customers by telephone and email 5 days per week during normal business hours and by phone 24/7 for emergency response. Payments can be submitted by mail, online through the District website at pvwsd.com or through the dropbox located at the office. The District will be randomly surveying customers regarding the change in hours and invites your input.
Plymouth Village Water & Sewer District (PVWSD) Honored with the New England Water Environment Association (NEWEA) 2018 Asset Management Achievement Award
On January 30, 2019, the Plymouth Village Water & Sewer District (PVWSD) was recipient of the 2018 Asset Management Achievement Award., during the Awards Ceremony, at the New England Water Environment Association’s (NEWEA) 89th Annual Conference & Exhibit in Boston, Ma.
The PVWSD has initiated and implemented an Asset Management program including a Water System Master Plan, horizontal infrastructure mapping utilizing GIS technology, and inventory condition assessment of vertical infrastructure. PVWSD has been able to reduce response time in the field locating assets, reduce energy usage and reduce risks to the systems by conducting preventative maintenance. Superintendent Jason Randall has shared field experiences with peers at several NH Department of Environmental Services Asset Management workshops, funding workshops, and conferences. The PVWSD has recognized, through Asset Management efforts, that addressing aging, undersized, and failing infrastructure is necessary to ensure sustainable water and wastewater systems for the District users.
“We’re pleased to have awarded PVWSD with the 2018 Asset Management Achievement Award” said NEWEA Executive Director Mary Barry. “Professionals in the water industry work tirelessly, often without recognition, to protect, preserve, and manage New England’s water environment and access to clean water. Additionally, as a volunteer association, so much of what NEWEA does relies on the involvement of our members and volunteers. This award gives us the opportunity to recognize all that PVWSD has contributed to NEWEA and the New England water industry.”
To the inhabitants of the Plymouth Village Water & Sewer District in the County of Grafton, in the State of NH qualified to vote in Village District affairs:
You are notified to meet at the Plymouth Elementary School on Tuesday, the 12th day of March, next, polls to be open for voting on Article 1 at 8:00 o’clock in the forenoon and to close not earlier than 7:00 o’clock in the evening, and you are hereby notified to meet at the Plymouth Village Water & Sewer District office at 227 Old North Main St. on Thursday, the 14th day of March, next, at 6:oo o’clock in the evening to act upon the remaining articles of this warrant.