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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
DATE: May 10, 2012
CONTACT: Sarah Pillsbury, 603 271-1168

Water Suppliers Tout the Value of Drinking Water During Drinking Water Week

Concord, NH - As Drinking Water Week continues, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) and the American Water Works Association (AWWA) join water professionals across New Hampshire and North America in highlighting the importance of a safe, reliable water supply to everyone's quality of life – from public health protection and fire suppression to the critical role it plays in supporting the economy.

"Tap water is such an integral part of our daily lives that we sometimes don't notice its immeasurable value," said AWWA Executive Director David LaFrance. "Only tap water delivers the high quality of life we enjoy."

"Whether it's one of the state's largest cities, or a small community water system serving a single subdivision, DES provides oversight to ensure that water is tested and treated, and that water system operators are properly trained," noted Sarah Pillsbury, Administrator of DES's Drinking Water and Groundwater Bureau. "Users of private wells don't have that kind of protection," Pillsbury added. "The 40 percent of New Hampshire residents who use private wells are largely on their own when it comes to testing for common natural contaminants such as arsenic and radon, or pollutants that get into our groundwater that are man-made such as the gasoline additive MtBE."

Customers of New Hampshire's community water systems pay an average of 50 cents per hundred gallons for treated, tested water delivered to the tap, while bottled water users who pay $1.25 for a 20-ounce bottle are paying $800 per hundred gallons. "There is a wide gap between the price of drinking water, which is what we pay; and the value of drinking water, which is what we would be willing to pay," notes Pillsbury. "For example, ask yourself what your home would be worth without a safe drinking water supply."

About Drinking Water Week
For more than 35 years, the American Water Works Association and its members have celebrated Drinking Water Week - a unique opportunity for both water professionals and the communities they serve to join together to recognize the vital role water plays in our daily lives.

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