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Water Distribution

The Manchester Water Works now maintains more than 500 miles of water mains which distributes an average of 17.2 million gallons of water every day to 32,000 domestic services and 1,680 fire services in Manchester and in the towns of Auburn, Bedford, Goffstown, Hooksett, Londonderry and Derry. More than 6.3 billion gallons of water a year are pumped through various cast iron, ductile iron, copper, cement, and plastic pipes to more than 159,000 people. Fire protection in these communities is provided through 3,390 fire hydrants.

Manchester Water Works has instituted several programs designed to better serve you the customer. Among these programs are a backflow prevention program, the purpose of which is to insure that there is no possible contamination of your drinking water due to improper plumbing interconnections, water corrosion control program that insure compliance with the federal lead and copper standards, and a meter exchange program to insure the accuracy of metered consumption.

Backflow Prevention

The purpose of the Backflow Prevention Program is to ensure that there is no possible contamination of your drinking water due to improper plumbing interconnections. Examples of potential cross connections are commercial boilers, a chemical storage plant or a residential property with an irrigation system. The backflow device is a mechanical valve that senses a flow reversal and stops possibly harmful water from mixing with the drinking water.

The program is mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the N.H. Department of Environmental Services. There are approximately 6,000 backflow devices in the MWW system and about 90 percent of these are located in commercial or industrial properties. The backflow device is owned and maintained by the property owner and the testing is performed by our certified backflow testers. A fee is included in the customers' water bill for the testing service.

Scheduled appointments for the testing are usually not necessary, since commercial properties are tested during normal business hours and most residential properties have the device located on the outside of the building.

All properties with irrigation systems and all commercial and industrial buildings require backflow devices. The lack of a device at your property could impact the health of your family or neighbors. Please contact the meter department at the phone number shown below if you have any questions about the need for a backflow device at your property or questions about the testing process.

Our uniformed personnel will explain their presence and request your cooperation when they arrive at your property. MWW's Backflow Prevention Program is another example of the effort taken to ensure that your drinking water is of the highest quality and safe for consumption.

Meter Exchange

The Manchester Water Works (MWW) is responsible for approximately 29,250 water meters in an area that includes Manchester and sections of Auburn, Bedford, Goffstown, Hooksett and Londonderry.

The Public Utilities Commission requires that water utilities periodically test meters for accuracy. The testing frequency can range from once a year to once every ten years, depending upon the size of the meter.  There are approximately 26,500 residential meters that fall into the 5/8" to 3/4" size range and which require testing once every ten years.

The first step in the testing and exchange process is to notify homeowners by mail that their meter needs to be changed along with a request for the owner to call the MWW to schedule an appointment. This appointment is necessary so that our meter installation personnel can gain access to the basement of your property and exchange the existing meter with a new or rebuilt meter. The old meter is returned to our meter shop where a repairman tests the meter's accuracy over a range of flows. If necessary, the meter is recalibrated or repaired prior to installation at another location.

The exchange and testing is completed at no cost to the homeowner, and usually requires less than an hour of your time. The important thing is to remember to contact the meter department at the phone number shown below and arrange for an appointment at a time convenient to you. This is a mandatory program that requires all meters to be tested for accuracy at regular intervals.

In order to protect your security, please note that our employees have clearly identified Water Work's vehicles and uniforms, and carry photo identification cards. They are courteous and willing to answer any questions you might have. Your cooperation with this important program is appreciated.

Get the Lead Out

Manchester Water Works has provided the citizens of Manchester and surrounding communities with the safest and most reliable water supply economically possible for over a century. Constant testing by both our laboratory and others, reveals a drinking water quality that meets or exceeds all standards established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services.

In 2008 Congress implemented legislation that set new standards for lead and copper.  The standards are intended to help communities around the nation to reduce exposure to lead and copper in drinking water, as well as from other sources such as air, lead base paint, soil and dust.  Lead paint is the main source of lead poisoning, however, lead contamination from water can contribute up to 20% of a person's exposure. Manchester Water Works has joined with 60,000 public water utilities throughout the country to test lead and copper at household taps. Our most recent testing reveals concentrations at or near non detectable levels.

While the water we supply is free of lead, and a corrosion inhibitor is added at the treatment process, lead may still be dissolved from your household piping system into the water if:

  • You have a lead service line connecting your home to the water main, or
  • Your home has lead pipes, or
  • Your household copper piping has recent lead soldered joints.

The best way of removing any harmful traces of lead is to allow your water to run for 1 to 3 minutes before using it for cooking or drinking. This simple flushing should be done whenever water has remained stagnant in the piping system or not been used for a period of at least 3 hours.

If you have any questions concerning lead in drinking water or the lead testing program, please contact our water laboratory at (603) 624-6482.

Contact Information

City of Manchester
Manchester Water Works
Water Distribution Division

281 Lincoln Street
Manchester, NH

Phone: (603) 624-6494
Fax: (603)628-6020

Guy R Chabot PE, Deputy Director - Distribution