The town of Newport has received $6.1 million in federal funding to update its wastewater treatment facility.
The update will help the town meet federal water quality standards and prevent contaminants from entering the Sugar River downstream from the facility.
The facility has required remediation for a decade. While the town attempted to make the necessary improvements in the past, that new system failed within days of its implementation, according to Town Manager Hunter Rieseberg. That led to five years of litigation between the town and the engineering firm that had designed the upgrade.
Now, the town is working with a different engineering firm and a new design is underway, Rieseberg said. He expects construction to begin in 2024 and be completed by 2025. The total price tag on the new facility is $24 million, which will come from a variety of sources, including the $6 million in federal funding and an additional $9.9 million in federal low-interest loans.
The town of Newport will be responsible for funding a third of the project through local user fees, Rieseberg said. The wastewater facility serves around 2,000 people.
The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, through the Rural Development Water and Waste Disposal program.
“It’s important to us that the quality of the effluent that’s being discharged be improved,” Rieseberg said. “We are very concerned and dedicated to preserving the quality of the water in the Sugar River. We’re also thrilled that this little cloud that’s been plaguing the community for over a decade will be brought to a close and life will return to normal so we can attend to other matters.”
This story was written by Amanda Gokee, a reporter for the New Hampshire Bulletin, where this story first appeared.