Consolidation Study Assistance Program


Funded by the NH Drinking Water and Groundwater Trust Fund | Administered by the NH Department of Environmental Services | In accordance with the Public Water System Consolidation Study Initiative for Small Public Water Systems approved by the Drinking Water and Groundwater Advisory Commission on February 8, 2021


NHDES understands small community water systems (CWS) and non-transient, non-community (NTNC) water systems in New Hampshire face many unique challenges, including current and proposed standards for PFAS, arsenic, radionuclides, 1,4-dioxane, and manganese, and the technical and financial requirements of installing, operating, and maintaining treatment. National compliance statistics show that small systems incur a higher rate of violations under the Safe Drinking Water Act compared to larger systems, due to the increased financial, managerial and technical burden per capita to meet the standards.

A total of $200,000 in funding has been approved by the NH Drinking Water and Groundwater Advisory Commission to assist small systems to identify and evaluate the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of connecting to another community water system, so that systems can make informed decisions regarding the best long-term options for maintaining a safe, reliable drinking water supply for their users. Receipt of the grant is non-binding and will not require the small system to pursue the interconnection.

Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants must have source(s) exceeding a state drinking water maximum contaminant level (MCL) or Ambient Groundwater Quality Standard (AGQS) prior to treatment, or a documented water supply shortage that can be addressed by connecting to another CWS, and are either a:

  • Community Water System (CWS) serving up to 1,000 people or,
  • Non-profit, non-transient, non-community (NTNC) water system (for example, public schools).

Eligible Costs

Grants may be awarded up to $10,000 maximum per eligible water system (no match required). The following activities will be considered eligible for reimbursement under the grant. (Also see “Minimum Technical Requirements” below).

  • An engineering opinion of conceptual costs comparing connecting to a larger community water system versus treating, maintaining, and operating a system’s own well sources. The evaluation shall include both capital and 20-year present worth operation and maintenance costs. Connection costs must include required infrastructure and connection fees.
  • As a condition of funding, the engineering consultant must prepare or update and submit a Small Water System Asset Management Business Plan using the NHDES template or equivalent. Preparation of the Water Business Plan will be an eligible expense under the grant up to the $10,000 total limit.

For Questions Contact

Tom Willis, P.E.
Drinking Water and Groundwater Trust Fund Engineer