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Windham Estates to get more fire hydrants

WINDHAM — A large Windham neighborhood is about to get nine more fire hydrants as part of a long-awaited water line replacement.

At the Board of Selectmen meeting on Monday, the board voted unanimously to grant a public right-of-way permit for water line replacements along West Shore Road and Johnson Street, both in the Windham Estates neighborhood near the town’s side of Canobie Lake.

Windham Town Administrator David Sullivan said the town would be working with Pennichuck Water Works to install water lines in the roads. Sullivan said the new water lines would be located about six feet off the curb.

Pennichuck spokesman Peter Tedder said a total of 8,700 feet of public water lines are in need of replacement. The water lines are decades old and long overdue for replacement.

“This area has seen 80 water line failures over the past 18 years,” he said. “We’ve seen a 20 percent water loss for the systems in that area.”

Tedder said the line replacements would benefit about 82 households in that part of town, including homes on Wildwood, Birchwood and Rolling Ridge roads.

With the board’s approval of construction in the town’s right-of-way, Tedder said the replacement plan would also encompass street repair.

“We’ll negotiate with the town’s contracted paving company to try and get the most reasonable rates,” he added, noting that the water company has been in touch with Windham’s highway department.

Shudder said the large neighborhood only has one fire hydrant, but the plan is to install nine more. The nearest pump station is located on West Shore Road.

Fire Chief Tom McPherson said the added hydrants would give the neighborhood a 500-gallon-per-minute water capacity for a span of two hours.

“Those additional hydrants will definitely have a positive impact on residents’ insurance ratings,” McPherson adding, “Fire protection in there will increase tenfold.”

Town Road Agent Jack McCartney said some of that neighborhood’s roads would need extensive repairs during the replacement process.

“A couple of them have never seen pavement, while others need additional work to address drainage issues,” McCartney said. “So we want to do this sooner rather than later.”Shudder said the plan is to open the bid process early next month, with a plan to install the pipes and put down base pavement before the first snowfall.

The roads would get a final paving sometime in the spring.

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