The Water & Sewer Division assists the Commission in regulating 17 water utilities and five sewer utilities in New Hampshire. The 17 water utilities own approximately 100 separate systems, ranging in size from 37 customers to about 27,500. Pennichuck Water Works is the largest, serving the greater Nashua area as well as a number of smaller systems in the southern part of the state.
The 17 water utilities regulated by the PUC serve only around 15% of all of New Hampshire’s residents. The large majority of residents are served by either a municipal utility or by private wells. It is estimated that 38% of New Hampshire residents receive their water from private, on-site wells.
The Commission also regulates five investor-owned sewer utilities in the state.
In general the Commission does not regulate municipal water and sewer utilities. Municipal utilities include town or city owned systems as well as districts and precincts where customers participate in the management of the utilities through a democratic voting process. Only in circumstances where a municipal water or sewer utility serves customers outside its corporate boundaries does state law require Commission review. If the rates charged to customers outside its boundaries are the same as those charged within, the municipal utility is not regulated. If the municipal utility wishes to charge its outside customers a higher rate, it must seek Commission approval to do so. A municipal water utility may, however, charge new customers outside its boundaries a rate up to 15% higher than its inside customers, and remain exempt from regulation, if those new customers are added through a main extension or other expansion of the municipal system.
Linked below are listings of the regulated water and sewer utilities and their current average rates charged.