Types of Water Supply

Your water comes from one of or a combination of three types of water supplies:  surface water, ground water and water purchased from other water utilities.  To find out the source of your water supply please go to My Water System.  The quality and quantity of Pennichuck’s surface and ground water supplies are dependent upon the activities which take place within each supplies watershed.  The available quality and quantity of your water is negatively impacted by increased development within your water supply’s watershed.  Rain water and snow that once percolated into the ground to recharge the ground and surface waters prior to development now runs off roofs and paved surfaces. During this, it picks up pollutants and moves quickly out of the watershed where it is no longer available to recharge the ground or surface water that provides your water supply.  Protecting the watersheds that provide water to local surface and ground water supplies is essential to ensure the long-term quality and quantity of your water supply.

What is a watershed? A watershed is the area of land where any precipitation that lands within its boundaries drains or seeps into the wetlands, streams, rivers, lakes, or groundwater that eventually ends up in your well or surface water supply.

Surface Water:  As the term implies, surface water is found at the surface of the earth and consists of rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. Pennichuck manages two surface water supply systems

  1. The Nashua Core water system derives its water supply from the Pennichuck Brook and the Merrimack River watersheds.
  2. The Pittsfield Aqueduct water system derives its water supply from the Berry Pond watershed.

Ground Water:  Ground water is the source of water supply for many of Pennichuck’s water systems. This water comes from precipitation that has seeped into the ground and becomes part of the water flowing underground through the space between soil particles or fractures in local bedrock structures.  This source of water is tapped into wells that are inserted into the soils or rock fractures containing this water.  Pumps within the well pump water up to the surface where it can be treated (if necessary) and distributed to our customers.  Pennichuck owns and maintains over 35 community water systems that use ground water as their source of supply.

Purchased Water:  In some cases Pennichuck buys water from other water utilities through an interconnection between the two water systems.