Merrimack residents concerned about safety of drinking water

MERRIMACK, N.H. — Unrest continues in Merrimack, New Hampshire after the toxic chemical PFOA was found in the drinking water supply months ago.

The Merrimack Valley Water District is now saying the supply is safe to drink after the wells with the highest concentrations were taken offline.

Merrimack residents tell FOX25 they want to see the most recent test results before they will believe the water district or the Department of Environmental Services.

"It’s not OK and I’m not going to drink the water. I’m not going to drink the water, none of us are,” Tia Chandler said.

The only information available now from the state or the water district shows readings from nearly a month ago, despite weekly testing and an update on the website last week.

"To tell us that the water is safe except you don’t have the last four weeks of testing? It doesn’t float in my book. It just doesn’t make any sense,” Chandler said.

Chandler is speaking for many Merrimack residents when she says she will not be feeding tap water to herself, her kids, or even the family dog after state officials found concentrated levels of the chemical PFOA in the drinking water supply back in February.

Since then, the state provided bottled water and blood testing to residents whose water was tainted while they worked with plastics company Saint-Gobain to mitigate the issue.

The Merrimack Valley Water District told FOX25 that the water residents are drinking now is in full compliance, but investigation documents online show a questionable future.

Last Monday the district sent a request to Saint-Gobain asking them to fix wells four and five. They wrote:

"The NH Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) is concerned that the anticipated hot weather and the ever-present potential for a fire emergency will result in an inadequate water supply condition... Such an emergency condition could necessitate bringing these wells back on-line."

There will be a public meeting on Thursday where residents can ask questions about the fix to representatives of the water district. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at 6 Baboosick Lake Rd. in Merrimack.