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N.H. Dept. of Corrections Ordered to Stop Discharging Wastewater From Laconia Facility

Release Date: 05/05/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: David Deegan, EPA Office of Public Affairs, (617) 918-1017,

For Immediate Release: May 5, 2005; Release # dd050501.html

EPA has ordered the N.H. Dept. of Corrections to stop unlawfully discharging pollutants from storm pipes at the Lakes Region Correctional Facility in Laconia, N.H.

According to EPA’s investigation, the discharges have resulted in exceedences of state water quality standards for E. coli bacteria in Governor Park Stream, and exceedences of the swimming standards for E. coli bacteria at the Ahern State Park Beaches on Lake Winnisquam.

After the violations were discovered by a concerned citizen in August of 2004, EPA’s New England office investigated. Also, a June 2004 study by the N.H. Dept. of Environmental Services identified discharges from the facility’s storm sewer pipes as the source of pollutants that have resulted in bacterial exceedences in Governor Park Stream and Ahern State Park Beaches on Lake Winnisquam. Governor Park Stream and Lake Winnisquam are designated by the state as “Class B waterways” – meaning that the waters are clean enough to safely swim and fish.

“This action will ensure that New Hampshire citizens have cleaner water,” said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator for EPA’s New England office. “EPA will ensure that the New Hampshire Department of Corrections takes action to identify where, when and how these bacterial exceedences are occurring - and enact a plan to stop their wastewater from affecting water quality where people swim and fish.”

Wastewater generated at the correctional facility is sent through a wastewater collection system to the Winnepesaukee River Basin Program Sewer Treatment Plant in Franklin, N.H. The DES study that investigated the elevated bacterial levels suggested that wastewater is flowing out of the crack and joints of old clay pipes and may be infiltrating old clay storm sewer piping that discharges to Governor Park Stream which flows into Lake Winnisquam.

EPA ordered the Dept. of Corrections, which operates the facility’s wastewater system, to develop and put in place a plan for identifying and eliminating sources of unauthorized pollutants discharged from its storm drain outlet pipes to Governor Park Stream, as well as a monitoring plan to evaluate whether the unauthorized discharges have been eliminated. Finally, the facility is required to provide semi-annual progress and work projection reports to EPA and the N.H. Dept. of Environmental Services, with the first report for the period ending Dec. 31, 2005 due by Jan. 31, 2006.

Learn about EPA New England’s water enforcement program. (

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