New Hampshire police investigating after oil found in city’s water supply

ROCHESTER, NH (WHDH) - An investigation is underway after officials in Rochester, New Hampshire, say oil was discovered in the city’s water infrastructure.

Oil was first discovered in the system last November and again every month since February. Police are investigating the dumping as a criminal act and are actively working to determine the source.

“Dumping oil into the wastewater system is a serious criminal act that we are actively investigating. The person or business involved in this illegal dumping will be held responsible in accordance with New Hampshire laws,” Rochester Police Chief Paul Toussaint said.

If found, the culprit could be punished with heavy fines of as much as $1,000 per violation and the termination of sewer service, in addition to several civil and criminal penalties. Violators are also required to reimburse the city for the cost of the investigations which could range from $1,500 to $3,000.

“The DPW goes to great lengths to properly dispose of oil and other potentially harmful substances because simply dumping it down the drain places a significant burden on the system,” Director of City Services John Storer said. “There is absolutely no need to dump it into the city wastewater system when the DPW will take it for free.”

Police say that the drinking water is still completely safe as the two systems are completely separate from each other.

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