WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP PROTECT THE PENNICHUCK WATERSHED?
Watershed protection is a priority at Pennichuck Water Works. We have completed dozens of projects through the years to protect our watershed and improve water quality, as highlighted on our website. We are proud to announce the release of a series of watershed protection videos produced by Pennichuck and in conjunction with the NH Department of Environmental Services Local Source Water Protection Grant Program. These brief 2-3 minute videos highlight potential threats to the Pennichuck watershed and water supply, actions Pennichuck has taken to reduce these threats, and tips that anyone can use to help protect the Pennichuck Watershed and water supply.
Segment #1 – What is a Watershed and Stormwater?
A watershed is an area of land that drains into a body of water such as a lake or river. Pennichuck’s surface water supply comes from the Pennichuck Brook Watershed located in Nashua, Merrimack, Amherst, Hollis and Milford. Stormwater runoff occurs in the watershed when rain or snowmelt flows over impervious surfaces such as streets, driveways and sidewalks instead of infiltrating or soaking into the ground as it does in a forested area. Video #1 discusses what a watershed is and what stormwater is. Approximate video runtime: 1 minute 36 seconds.
Segment #2 – How Can Stormwater Impact a Watershed?
Stormwater runoff is rain and/or snowmelt that runs over the ground where it can pick up sand, salt, oil, gasoline, nutrients and bacteria. This water can make its way into nearby surface waters and the Pennichuck Brook. Video #2 discusses the impacts of stormwater on a watershed and water body. Approximate video runtime: 2 minutes.
Segment #3 – What Types of Watershed Protection Efforts Has Pennichuck Completed?
Pennichuck has funded dozens of watershed protection and water quality improvement projects over the last 20 years along with the help of the NH Department of Environmental Services. Projects have included the development and frequent update of a watershed management plan and the design and construction of structural stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) to remove pollutants from stormwater before it enters the water supply. Pennichuck has also developed a school education program, promoted public outreach activities, and currently performs frequent watershed and water quality monitoring, and maintains an interactive website on watershed protection. Video #3 highlights watershed protection activities within the Pennichuck Brook Watershed. Approximate video runtime: 2 minutes 51 seconds.
Segment #4 – What Can I Do To Help Protect the Watershed?
Anyone can help protect the watershed by doing the following:
* Reduce fertilizer and pesticide use on your lawn.
* Pick up after your dog.
* Never throw trash or debris in a catch basin or storm drain.
* Maintain your vehicle to eliminate oil leaks and dispose of used oil properly.
* Wash your car on your lawn or at a commercial car wash to eliminate wash water from entering catch basins and stormwater drains.
* Maintain your septic system.
* Redirect roof leaders to pervious areas (e.g., grass and wooded areas) of your yard where water can soak into the ground.
* Install a rain barrel to collect and recycle roof runoff.
* Build a raingarden to collect roof runoff. See https://extension.unh.edu/programs/landscape-installation-maintenance for more information.
Video #4 focuses on what watershed residents can do to help protect the watershed and water quality. Approximate video runtime: 3 minutes 43 seconds.
Common watershed protection terms:
Watershed – an area of land that drains into a body of water such as a lake or river.
Stormwater or Stormwater Runoff – rain and/or snowmelt that runs over the ground where it can pick up pollutants such as sand, salt, oil, gasoline, nutrients and bacteria.
Non-Point Source Pollution – refers to pollution that originates from many different sources (opposite of Point Source Pollution) and is caused by rainfall or snowmelt moving over and through the ground, which picks up and carries these pollutants to waters.
Point Source Pollution – refers to pollution from a single identifiable source, such as a sewage treatment plant discharge.
Infiltration – when water soaks up or is absorbed into the ground.
Impervious Surface – a surface that cannot absorb or soak up liquid such as pavement on roads, sidewalks, parking lots and roofs.
Pervious Surface – a surface that soaks up or absorbs liquid such as areas with soil like the forest or a garden.
Structural Stormwater Best Management Practice (BMP) – refers to structural or engineered controls that can help reduce or treat stormwater pollution.