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Ramifications of polluting aquifer would be devastating to Belmont

To The Daily Sun,

It is Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, and I am writing this letter to wish you all a belated Happy New Year. It is a new year so let's start it with protecting our aquifer. A number of people, including me, submitted a petition to the Town of Belmont to disallow additional industrial development above our water supply.

We, the people of Belmont, are fortunate to have a stratified drift aquifer created thousands of years ago by the glaciers. This aquifer is shallow to the surface of the ground and travels very slowly through a thick layer of sand and gravel flowing toward the Winnipesauke River (shallow means plus or minus 20 feet).

The towns of Tilton and Northfield also benefit from this natural resource. The fact that the aquifer is shallow to the surface makes our water supply vulnerable to pollution.

The Belmont Planning Board has approved a garbage transfer station which has been given the authority to haul a maximum of 3,000 tons of garbage a week or approximately 150,000 tons a year. The Planning Board also approved on a prior date, an asphalt plant and has the authority to approve a petroleum and propane bulk storage facilities.

My concern is that since the aquifer is shallow to the ground surface, it would not take much to contaminate our water supply with such enormous polluting industries. At the present time we have eight industrial polluting sites on top of our aquifer that are classified by the state as potential polluting sites.

Since we are pumping an average 800,000 gallons per day for all three towns where are we going to find another equivalent source of water supply for all three towns that has the same quality and quantity? Belmont taxpayers would have the financial responsibility to correct the problem they created. Of course that has not happened yet but it will happen in the future.

The financial ramifications of polluting the aquifer would be devastating to the town of Belmont. It would require the immediate expenditure of millions of dollars to correct the problem, which could force the town of Belmont into bankruptcy.

We, the taxpayers, would all be subject to the consequences, one being the inability to sell your property. Would you buy property in Flint, Michigan?

The primary solution to this very serious problem is not to allow any type of industry that has the potential to pollute the aquifer.

That is why the people of this town submitted a petition not to allow any future industrial development on top of our aquifer.

The future growth of our town and its people will depend on a healthy supply of clean water.

I would hope that the people of our town recognize that water is a very important resource for a healthy life and we are very fortunate to have an abundance of clean water as compared to the droughts in California and the pollution problems in Flint, Michigan.

I urge you to talk to your neighbors, write letters and become informed. If you have any questions, I would be very happy to show you how an aquifer works and discuss the quality and quantity issue. Above all please vote to protect the aquifer on March 8.

George Condodemetraky

Belmont

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Fire at Gunstock Acres highlights need for more hydrants

To The Daily Sun,

I, like many local residents, was surprised and dismayed to learn of the two-alarm fire that quickly destroyed a residential house on Mountain Drive in Gilford. The blaze, which occurred in the early morning hours this past Sunday, was a challenge for the fire departments to battle as the temperatures were frigid with a wind chill.

I could not help but notice in the reports that to put out the fire, the departments had to shuttle water from the closest fire hydrant, which happened to be more than one mile away on Tate Road. I live very near the site of this fire, and I believe there is only one other hydrant anywhere near Gunstock Acres, and that is on the outer perimeter by the entrance of Yasmin Drive on Cherry Valley Road. To service a fire in "the Acres" the responders may have to drive more than a mile and a half to replenish their water supply.

Since Gunstock Acres is a very large subdivision, containing approximately 400 homes, it is strange that the town officials have not considered this lack of hydrants to be a problem.

The fire departments should not have to work under the strain of trying to find a water source that is nowhere near the location of the blaze. Every second counts when it comes to extinguishing house fires, and most houses in Gunstock Acres would be considered "isolated," something that does not have to be the case.

This unfortunate occurrence highlights the need for more fire hydrants in the community of Gunstock Acres. Fires happen, especially in the heating season, but when there is not enough provisions to combat them, it is unsafe for everyone involved. We need to be prepared, so that if there is ever a fire in this part of Gilford in the near future, it can be put out with the utmost speed and efficiency.

Dean P. Anderson

Gilford

  • Category: Letters
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