Milford mulls digging near Osgood Pond

MILFORD – Many parts of the planet are running dry, including California, where vast agricultural lands are threatened by a water crisis.

Lucky for Milford the town has plenty of water, for now. Its three wells are in Amherst, across the Souhegan River, and Pennichuck Water Works can provide back-up in an emergency.

But the future is always uncertain, and Milford’s water commissioners want to make the town’s water supply a little more certain by looking at pos­sibly buying two lots near Osgood Pond.

If the town finds enough good water at the site vot­ers would be asked to approve the purchase in March.

First the town also has to clear up title problems before they test the water, and town attorney Wil­liam Drescher enlisted the help of Tom Quinn, a title attorney. He and Quinn were at recent Board of Selectmen and Planning Board meetings to explain the issues.

With some deeds going back to the 1860s, the title search has proved to be very difficult, Quinn said.

Both lots are owned by Tom Lorden and one, on the west side of the pond, is about 27 acres. The other, on the south side, is much smaller.

"Where Lorden’s wet­lands and the town’s wet­lands end is impossible to determine, and that’s why we came up with the idea of a boundary line agree­ment," Quinn said. As­suming the town finds wa­ter and the title problem is cleared up, "the town will own both pieces, so where the line is will be a moot point."

Selectmen will be asked to sign a boundary line agreement and at a public hearing Aug. 10 said they would take a vote on it Aug. 24.

The Planning Board and Conservation Commission each voted to recommend the plan to selectmen.

"Right now we have plenty of water, but in the future we may need more," said Milford Water Commissioner Dale White in a phone interview.

"We never know when a well will go down. We have Pennichuck, but it would also be good to have our own water," White said.

The commissioners have been looking for an­other water source for years, and in 2009 thought they had found one on North River Road, but ne­gotiations with the prop­erty owner didn’t work out.

In the 1980s, two Mil­ford wells, the Keyes well and the Savage well, were shut down after the state Department of Environ­mental Services found that they were contami­nated by volatile organic compounds above drink­ing water standards, and the two properties be­came federal Superfund sites.

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100 or kcleveland@cabinet.com.