Water quality is one of the most important topics when it comes to discussing drinking water.
Lakes Region Water Company Inc. must continually follow the sampling schedule set forth by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES).
If we fail to follow this schedule or if the sample’s test results show the contaminant to be at levels above Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) governed standards, the NHDES will issue a violation. Depending on the type of violation, we may issue a public notice to each customer explaining the violation within the time frame issued by the NHDES.
Most of the time, violations are nothing to be concerned about, but are implemented as a precautionary measure in the best interest of the customer.
Please see below for more information regarding water quality rules, reports, schedules and testing.
- Sampling Rules
Each community water system must follow NHDES’ rules for water testing & quality, and there are several rules to be followed. A water system is said to be “in compliance” if they sample for & report results of contaminant sampling to the NHDES within a set schedule.
For a brief overview of contaminants to be sampled for, the type of water systems required to sample for each contaminant & a general description of what it takes to be considered in compliance, download & view the following file:
Env-Ws 310-316: Drinking Water Quality Standards.
For a more in depth understanding of these rules, including rules on where, when and how to sample, in addition to reporting requirements, download & view:
Env-Ws 320-339: Monitoring, Reporting and Compliance Determination.
- Sampling Schedules
You can actually view the sampling schedule for the water system that services your home. You can check to see which contaminants have already been sampled for and determine which ones will be sampled in the future. In most cases, the schedules have already been determined beyond the current year.
Follow the instructions within this document to view your system’s schedule. Contact us if you are having difficulty viewing this document or the online sampling schedule.
Customer Online Sampling Instructions
- Health EffectsThere are essentially four Categories of Contaminants:
The EPA has created a list of these contaminants, their health effects & at what level they are a potential threat to public health. Click to view this list: Requirements for Community Public Water Systems
- Water Quality Reports
(Commonly referred to by the NHDES as Consumer Confidence Reports):
This publication is to be prepared and released by the owner of a community water supply by July 1st of each year. It is to include water quality information from the previous year and contains important information concerning the quality of the system’s drinking water. All detected contaminants are listed in this document as are any violation(s) that may have been received during that year. It is important to understand that only contaminants that were detected in your water systems are listed on this report, therefore; the shorter the contaminant list, the better. If for example, you do not see bacteria listed on this report, it means that all samples for bacteria showed an absence of bacteria. Likewise, if for example nitrate is not listed on this report, it means that sampling results showed nitrate at levels below detectable limits.
Click a report below to view water quality information for your water system:
Water System NameReporting Year*Far Echo Harbor (Moultonboro)
2015 2016 2017Paradise Shores (Moultonboro) 2015 2016 2017West Point (Moultonboro) 2015 2016 2017White Mtn. Resort/Gateway (Thornton) 2015 2016 2017Hidden Valley Mason/Shores (Tuftonboro) 2015 2016 2017Wentworth Cove (Laconia) 2015 2016 2017Pendleton Cove (Laconia) 2015 2016 2017Deer Run (Campton) 2015 2016 2017Woodland Grove (Conway) 2015 2016 2017Echo Lake Woods (Conway) 2015 2016 2017Brake Hill Acres (Gilford) 2015 2016 2017Tamworth Water (Tamworth) 2015 2016 2017175 Estates (Thornton) 2015 2016 2017Deer Cove (Ossipee) 2015 2016 2017Lake Ossipee Village (Freedom) 2015 2016 2017Indian Mound (Ossipee) 2015 2016 2017Gunstock Glen (Gilford) 2015 2016 2017Dockham Shores (Gilford)
* Only reports for the last 4 years are available online. If you wish to view an older report, please contact the Lakes Region Water Company office. If a report is not yet listed for a particular year, it is not yet available.
- Rules for Water Service
All public utilities in the State of New Hampshire must follow the rules & regulations of the Public Utility Commission (PUC). The Commission ensures the public safety of the consumer by preparing a set of rules unique to each type of utility as well as uniform sets of rules for all utilities. Any financial decisions in relation to the customer must be first approved by the Commission and implemented on mutually agreed terms.
To read rules relating to your water service or any other utility serving the public, visit the PUC website or click the links below to download:
- Rules for Water Quality
Public Water Utilities must also follow the rules enforced by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES).
A system is determined to be a water utility if the water system provides the public with potable, piped water for human consumption and has at least 15 service connections OR serves at least 25 individuals per day for at least 60 days out of the year. If the system is determined to be a public water utility, it must therefore follow the state’s standards for water service. The system must then follow the NHDES’ sampling schedule & report all results within a set time frame. The system must also report certain results to their customers. The public notice is usually a fill-in form created by the NHDES that the utility will complete with all applicable information. This type of notice is tailored to the type of contaminant, the value of the result & the degree to which the contaminant is a threat to the consumer’s health.
For rules concerning water quality, go to the NHDES’ website or download Env-Ws 301-308.
- Testing in Your Home
For Lead/Copper & Bacteria Sampling, NHDES selects location that they feel are a good representation of the system’s water quality. You may find that your home is listed on the sampling schedule, in which case you may request a copy of these sampling results.
If your home is selected for Lead & Copper testing, you do the testing yourself! This is because the tests call for a “first draw sample,” meaning the first draw of water for the day. If this is the case, our Company will give you the proper sampling bottles with instructions on how to take these samples, and we will return the next day to retrieve the samples and transport them to the lab.
Click for information on Lead & Copper sampling at home.
Otherwise, if you would like to have the water within your home tested, you will need to contact an independent company or accredited laboratory that performs these services, since we cannot change the locations where we sample.
Click for an accredited laboratories list.
- Common Misconceptions
MYTH: My water is crystal clear which means I have high quality water. Most contaminants that can harm you (E.Coli, cryptosporidium) cannot be seen by the human eye. So you could have a glass of clear water that is full of bacteria, compared to a glass of rust-colored or sediment-filled water that is absent of any harmful elements.
FACT: Not all violations indicate poor water quality. In addition, not all contaminants we sample for you are bad for your health and have aesthetic value only. Most contaminants that can harm you are those that you cannot taste, smell or see. Treatment for such contaminants is usually not necessary.
FACT: Some chemicals we test for do not have determined limits. Such contaminants are those for which the EPA has not created limits because further research is needed to determine levels at which negative health effects (if any) are experienced. Radon is one example. You may see a high value listed on your Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) also known as the Water Quality Report. While this number may seem extremely high, there is no state-governed limit to compare it against and so the risk towards the consumer’s health is currently difficult to determine.
MYTH: Regulations concerning bottled water are higher than that of tap water, making bottled water more safe for me to drink. While it is true that water quality standards are different between tap & bottled water, it does not make bottled water better for consumption. Bottled water is viewed as a food and therefore is regulated as a packaged food product by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The NHDES regulates the sources from which bottled water companies obtain their product, which are roughly the same standards that regulate sources of community water systems. For community water systems, the NHDES & EPA enforce testing procedures, chemical monitoring & public notification so customers always know what’s in their drinking water. Bottled water companies are NOT under these same restrictions. Click to download a PDF version of the EPA’s publication, “Water on Tap: what you need to know”. You may also visit the International Bottled Water Association site.
MYTH: Bottled water is cheaper than tap water. Your average bottle of water is around $1 for about 8-12 ounces, at the very least. Lakes Region Water Company Inc. charges $5.26 per 748 gallons. Since there are 128 ounces in 1 gallon, the amount of money you would need to pay a store for 1 gallon of bottled water (based on a $1 per 12 oz. cost) is just under $11. This means that for 748 gallons of bottled water, you would pay around $8,228 compared to the cost of $5.26 for the same amount of water you could obtain directly from your water tap!
- Current Water Quality Issues
We notify consumers of any violations according to the time frames required by the NHDES. In most cases, this is within 30 days of learning of the violation (i.e. Total Coliform Bacteria, Lead & Copper or Radiological violations). In the event of a public emergency, we will notify consumers within 24 hours or as the NHDES deems appropriate (i.e. E. Coli Bacteria and nitrate violations). As always, we are continually working with the state to resolve any issues we encounter. Serious health threats such as E.Coli contamination will be announced to customers within 24 hours of a positive sample. Such contamination will result in a boil order which will be posted on our homepage and will also appear on the NHDES website.