Due to the ongoing and extreme drought conditions, Rollinsford has issued a Water Ban, banning all watering of residential lawns. While the ban does not officially go into effect until September 27th, please consider your water usage carefully during the interim.


First Violation: Written Notice
Second Violation: $100 Fine
Each Additional Violation: $500 Fine

Currently, the water ban is only on residential watering of lawns. Because this drought is ongoing, we ask that you please also consider abstaining from other non-essential water use, including washing cars, hosing off paved surfaces, power washing, and filling swimming pools (including kiddie pools).

How bad is the drought, really?

The NH Drought Management Team described this particular drought as a slow moving natural disaster. To visualize the severity of the drought, consider this: Our water table is 16″ below where it needs to be. In order to recharge the aquifers, we would need it to rain through the day, 3 to 4 days a week, EVERY week, through January of 2017. The small amount of rain we had this week was not enough to make any kind of impact, and we are not expecting significant rain in the near future. The drought only seems on track to worsen.

I heard the town’s water tank was full...

Yes! And we are lucky! But that is not an accurate predictor of drought conditions. First of all, it doesn’t address the amount of water available to keep filling the tank as water is used, especially throughout the coming winter. Also, in the case of a fire, large amounts of water may be pulled from the tank at once.

The Rollinsford Water Commission has been monitoring our water supply and they are planning to closely monitor the situation throughout the winter. Even though the tank is currently full, the Water Commission did note that town water usage may or may not pull water from aquifers that feed certain private wells. Because of this uncertainty, they believe it is in everybody’s best interest to adhere to the ban.

For Homeowners with Private Wells

Your situation is the most delicate – Pay close attention to your well! If you notice ANY issues or irregularities, call a well company right away. If you put it off, the situation is likely to get much worse when the ground freezes. (Remember, once the ground is frozen, precipitation as snow sitting on the surface will not be able to permeate down to the aquifer!) State officials are very concerned that wells will run dry after the ground freezes, costing citizens a great deal of distress—financial and otherwise. If you have any problem with flow now, address it!

If your well runs dry, do not request the Fire Department to fill your well to get it running again, and do not try and fill it on your own. The Rollinsford Fire Department would not do this in the first place (they know it’s a bad idea), but it’s important for residents to know that the water from a fire truck (or any kind of tanker truck) can contaminate your well. Not only could it ruin your well, it could get into the aquifer, making the water unsafe for everyone in that area.

Please refer to the 2016 Drought Guide for Homeowners on Private Wells to learn more about how you can protect your water supply, signs of a failing well, and important information on what to do if your well fails.


While there is no FEMA money available for this situation, there is some state assistance available to help homeowners with private wells mitigate water issues.
Read more about private well financial assistance »

More Information

The State Drought Management Team (DMT), which consists of the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Environmental Services, the State Fire Marshal, the State Climatologist, the NH Farm Bureau, and many others, has created a full page of resources for Drought Management. You can find updates on the drought situation, information on water regulations, water efficiency information, and a search tool to help you locate licensed well drillers and pump installers in your area.
View the DES Drought Management Resource Page »