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DATE:  June 6, 2017

FOR RELEASE:  Immediate

CONTACTS:   Philip T. Driscoll, Administrative Board Chairman – 683-2090                                                    William J. McGlinn, General Manager and Chief Engineer – 683-2090

Portsmouth

The Administrative Board for the Portsmouth Water and Fire District approved a $4.17 million operating budget for its 2018 fiscal year that began on May 1st.  The 2018 fiscal operating budget is 4.8% less than the 2017 fiscal budget.  The approved total budget, which includes capital expenditures and principal payments on debt service, is $4.54 million.  The total 2018 fiscal budget is 2.8% less than the total 2017 fiscal budget.

There are no increases in water usage rates or base charges in the approved budget.  In addition the tax rate is unchanged for 2018, although there may be minor changes in the tax bills for individual customers due to the 2017 revaluation of property within the District by the Town of Portsmouth.  By law, the independent Water and Fire District is required to use the property valuations established by the town.

The quarterly water rates are $7.28 for the first 5,000 gallons and $10.71 for all water use over 5,000 gallons in the quarter.  The average residential customer that uses 60,000 gallons of water per year would have an annual cost of $624.04.

For a District property assessed at a value of $400,000, the tax bill would be $88.00.  Property tax revenue accounts for less than 13.0% of the District’s total revenue.  The use of its taxing authority allows the District to issue general obligation bonds, which offer a more favorable interest rate than revenue bonds, when funding capital projects.

Philip Driscoll, Administrative Board chairman, indicated that the Board is working hard to properly maintain and improve the water system, and to improve efficiency through technology, while providing fair and reasonable rates for customers and taxpayers

To help improve the District’s operational efficiency, Mr. Driscoll encourages customers to pay District water and tax bills using the District’s online payment portal.  The portal allows customers to pay by checking account, debit card or credit card at no cost to the customer.  To pay online, customers should log on to portsmouthwater.org and click on Pay My Bill.

 


DATE:  October 19, 2016

FOR RELEASE:  Immediately

CONTACTS:  Philip T. Driscoll, Chairman – 683-3081
William J. McGlinn, General Manager – 683-2090
Annual water district property tax bills.

The Portsmouth Water and Fire District will be mailing the annual water district property tax bills on October 21, 2016.

Philip Driscoll, Chairman of the Administrative Board, indicated that the District’s tax rate is $0.22 per thousand dollars of assessed value. Mr. Driscoll noted that the tax rate has increased by $0.01 over the 2015 rate. The annual District tax on a property assessed at $400,000 is $88.00.

The District encourages customers to pay tax and water bills online at PortsmouthWater.org. Online payments can be made by credit card, debit card or banking account withdrawal. There are no charges assessed for online payments.

Tax bills are due on December 1, 2016. Interest of 1% each month will be applied to the unpaid balance for any accounts not paid by the due date.

Any District property owner that has not received a water district tax bill by mid November should contact the District office at 683-2090.

 


DATE:  May 17, 2016

FOR RELEASE:  Immediate

CONTACTS:   Philip T. Driscoll, Administrative Board Chairman – 683-2090                                                   William J. McGlinn, General Manager and Chief Engineer – 683-2090

Portsmouth

The Portsmouth Water and Fire District announced a 13.88% increase in its operating budget for fiscal year 2017.  The District’s combined operating and capital budget increased by 12.54%.  The District’s fiscal year began on May 1.  The budget includes a 9.78% increase in its two-tier water rate schedule and a 13.6% increase in the base charge for a residential meter.  The Administrative Board approved an operating budget of $4,379,263 and a total budget of $4,670,434.

According to the District, the increases are necessary to address several issues.  In December of 2015, the City of Newport filed with the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission for a wholesale water rate increase to the District of 28% to take effect on July 1, 2016.  The increase in the wholesale cost of water purchased from Newport accounts for almost seventy-five percent of the District’s total budget increase.  In addition, the District added a staff accountant to improve its financial management and reporting, including new state reporting requirements for fire districts.  Also, due to the increasing age of the distribution system, there has been an upward trend in the cost of system repairs, including a needed $35,000 repair on the subaqueous water main under the Sakonnet River between Portsmouth and Tiverton.

Administrative Board Chairman Phil Driscoll indicated that the water rate increases are necessary to maintain a balanced budget while funding the District’s operating costs, technology improvements, capital improvements and debt service.  In addition, Mr. Driscoll said that the Administrative Board has put an emphasis on increased leak detection to reduce lost water.

The new quarterly water rates are $7.28 for the first 5,000 gallons and $10.71 for all water use over 5,000 gallons in the quarter.  The average residential customer that uses 60,000 gallons of water per year would have an annual cost of $624.04, an increase $57.00, or 9.1%, over fiscal 2016.

The Board set the District’s property tax rate at $0.22 per thousand dollars of assessed value, which is an increase of $0.01 from FY-16.  For a District property assessed at a value of $400,000, the tax would increase from $84.00 to $88.00.  Property tax revenue accounts for less that13.0% of the District’s total revenue.  The use of its taxing authority allows the District to issue general obligation bonds, which offer a more favorable interest rate than revenue bonds, when funding capital projects.

Mr. Driscoll indicated that the Board is working hard to properly maintain and improve the water system, while providing fair and reasonable rates for customers and taxpayers.  Mr. Driscoll also indicated that the Board will continue to ensure that the cost it pays for wholesale water is fair and reasonable by working with Newport Water and intervening in Newport rate filings before the Public Utilities Commission, as necessary.


DATE:  November 23, 2015

FOR RELEASE:  Immediate

CONTACT:  Philip T. Driscoll, Administrative Board Chairman – 808-0000
William J. McGlinn, General Manager and Chief Engineer – 683-2090
The Portsmouth Water and Fire District has announced a new grace period for payment of District tax bills. Effective immediately, there will be a seven (7) day grace period for tax payments. Tax bills that are not paid by the end of the seventh calendar day after the due date will incur interest charges. Payments must be received in the office by hand delivery, mail or online payment before the end of the grace period.Portsmouth

In prior years, the Administrative Board would vote each year to offer a 30 day grace period on tax bills. This new tax bill grace period matches the District’s water bill grace period for consistency. The interest rate for late payments is unchanged at 1% per month.

Tax bills may be paid online at www.PortsmouthWater.org using a debt or credit card. Recurring automatic payment by debt or credit card or checking account withdrawal is also available on line. There is no charge to the customer to use the District’s online payment system.

The District’s tax account number and water account number is different for the same property. Customers are urged to reference the correct account number when making payments by bank online check or bill pay service to avoid misapplication of payment and possible penalty charges.

The 2015 District tax bill is due on December 1, 2015. Bills were mailed on October 23, 2015. Any property owner within the District that did not receive a District tax bill should call the office at 683-2090.


DATE:  June 11, 2015

FOR RELEASE:  Immediately

CONTACTS:  William J. McGlinn, General Manager – 683-2090
Philip T. Driscoll, Chairman – 808-0000


TAX ASSESSOR – Three year term

Theodore T. Czech:  Votes – 64   Elected
Incumbent

Michael W. Nott:  Votes – 54   Elected

Write-In | Votes – 0

TAX COLLECTOR – Three year term

Frederick W. Faerber III:  Votes – 55   Elected

Write-In | Andrew Kelly:  Votes – 1

TREASURER – One year term

Allen J. Shers:  Votes – 63   Elected

Write-In | Norman Cote:  Votes – 1

SUMMARY

Total Ballots Cast – 69
Total Eligible Voters – 12,779
Percent Voting – 0.54%

Theodore T. Czech, Michael W. Nott, Frederick W. Faerber III and Allen J. Shers will be sworn in at the Board’s next regularly scheduled meeting on June 16, 2015 at 7:00 PM.The results of the Portsmouth Water and Fire District annual election held on Wednesday, June 10, 2015 are as follows:


 

DATE:  June 3, 2015

FOR RELEASE:  Immediately

CONTACT:  Philip T. Driscoll, Chairman – 808-0000
William J. McGlinn, General Manager – 683-2090
PORTSMOUTH WATER AND FIRE DISTRICT RELEASES
2014 CONSUMER CONFIDENCE REPORT

The Portsmouth Water and Fire District’s annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) was mailed to District water customers during the week of June 1st. The CCR indicates that the District’s drinking water met or surpassed all federal standards in 2014, except the standard for total trihalomethanes. According to the CCR, the District does not own any water supplies, but purchases its regular water supply on a wholesale basis from the Newport Water Department and relies on the Stone Bridge Fire District in Tiverton for emergency water supply.

The CCR, which is required of all public water suppliers by the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act, summarizes the District’s water sources and provides information on regulated and unregulated contaminants in the water. The CCR also provides important health information on drinking water, including bottled water, particularly for those people that may be immuno-compromised.

The CCR indicates that in August 2014 the District was in violation of the EPA standard for Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs), which are a by-product of drinking water chlorination and are a suspected carcinogen. The CCR shows that in 2014 the District’s highest four-quarter Running Annual Average TTHM level was 89.2 parts per billion (ppb), which is above the EPA Maximum Contaminant Level of 80.0 ppb. The District was back in compliance with the standard in November 2014, following the activation by the City of Newport of its new Lawton Valley Water Treatment Plant in September 2014. The CCR noted that the new treatment plant with its advanced treatment capabilities has made a significant and measureable improvement in the TTHM levels.

Copies of the report are available at the District’s main office at 1944 East Main Road and the Portsmouth Free Public Library. The report is also available on the Internet at http://www.portsmouthwater.org.

Customers with questions on the report or about water quality in general are encouraged to call the District’s office at 683-2090.


DATE:  June 1, 2015

FOR RELEASE:  Immediately

CONTACT:  Philip T. Driscoll, Chairman – 808-0000
William J. McGlinn, General Manager – 683-2090

 

Portsmouth

The Portsmouth Water and Fire District announced a 2.57% increase in its operating budget for fiscal year 2016. The District’s combined operating and capital budget increased by 2.14%. The District’s fiscal year began on May 1. The budget includes a 15.4% increase in its two-tier water rate schedule and a $0.44 increase in all base charges. The Administrative Board approved an operating budget of $3,845,597 and a total budget of $4,150,209.

According to the District, the water rate increase is necessary to address several issues. The fiscal 2015 budget did not include the full 19.4% rate increase that went into effect on July 1, 2014 for the wholesale cost of water the District purchases from Newport. The Newport increase is reflected for the full twelve months of fiscal 2016 budget. In addition, the actual water sales volumes for fiscal 2015 compared to budget were 4% higher for sales in the first-tier water rate and 4% lower for sales in the second-tier water rate resulting in a revenue shortfall. This structural deficit has been corrected in the 2016 budget. Also, the District’s total annual water sales have been decreasing at an annual rate of 2% over the last six years. Projected water sales for the fiscal 2016 budget have been adjusted downward to correct for the decreasing demand trend in order to ensure that actual revenue matches budget revenue.

Other issues requiring the rate increase include the need to increase temporary, part-time staff time to meet the customer service demands resulting from the fiscal 2015 switch to quarterly billing and a recent upward trend in leakage in the aging water distribution system.

Administrative Board Chairman Phil Driscoll indicated that the water rate increases are necessary to maintain a balanced budget while funding the District’s operating costs, technology improvements, capital improvements and debt service. In addition, Driscoll said that the Administrative Board has put an emphasis on increased leak detection to reduce lost water.

The new water rates are $6.63 for the first 5,000 gallons in the quarter and $9.76 for all water use over 5,000 gallons in the quarter. The average residential customer that uses 15,000 gallons of water per quarter would have a quarterly bill of $146.14 for an increase over fiscal 2015 of $17.89. By comparison, the retail customers of the Newport Water system pay residential rates of $10.02 per 1,000 gallons and non-residential rates of $11.22 per 1,000 gallons.

The District’s property tax rate of $0.20 per thousand dollars of assessed value will remain unchanged from last year. For a District property assessed at a value of $400,000, the tax would remain to be $80.00. Property tax revenue represents 13.0% of the District’s total revenue.

Mr. Driscoll indicated that the Board is working hard to properly maintain and improve the water system, while providing fair and reasonable rates for customers and taxpayers. Mr. Driscoll also indicated that the Board will continue to ensure that the cost it pays for wholesale water is fair and reasonable by working with Newport Water and intervening in Newport rate filings before the Public Utilities Commission, as necessary.

 


DATE:  May 13, 2014

FOR RELEASE:  Immediately

CONTACT:  Philip T. Driscoll, Administrative Board Chairman –  808-0000
William J. McGlinn, General Manager and Chief Engineer –  683-2090

Portsmouth

WATER RATE INCREASE TO HELP PAY FOR NEW WATER TREATMENT PLANTS

Portsmouth Water and Fire District customers can expect a significant jump in water rates this year. According to Administrative Board Chairman, Philip T. Driscoll, the Board voted on April 28th to increase its water rates by an average increase of 29.8% for fiscal year 2015, which began on May 1st.

Mr. Driscoll said that in large part, the rate increases are attributable to a 19.41% increase in the wholesale cost of water purchased from the City of Newport. The increase from Newport is necessary to pay for the District’s share of the $84 million in debt service required for Newport to replace the Lawton Valley Water Treatment Plant in Portsmouth and to significantly upgrade the Station One Water Treatment Plant in Newport. Construction of the plants began in 2012 and is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014.

Mr. Driscoll also indicated that the Administrative Board has restructured its billing practices. All water customers will be switched to quarterly billing beginning in May of 2014, while a handful of larger water users will be switched to monthly billing. The District will bill one-third of the quarterly customers each month in order to smooth out the staff workload for billing and payment processing. As part of this transition to quarterly billing, in their first quarterly bill only, some customers will be billed for two months of consumption and others will be billed for four months of consumption.

In addition, Mr. Driscoll also indicated that the Board has revised its water rate structure. The Board voted to eliminate the minimum charge that was billed in advance of service, which included twenty thousand gallons of water. Customers will now pay a quarterly base charge and a commodity charge, both billed in arrears, for the water metered during the quarter. In addition, the Board reduced the number of increasing water rate blocks from four tiers to two tiers. The first-tier rate for consumption between one and five thousand gallons per quarter will be $5.74 per thousand gallons. The second-tier rate will be $8.47 per thousand gallons for all consumption over five thousand gallons per quarter. The base charge will vary by meter size and will include the cost for the District to maintain and replace the water meter, radio reader and the curb stop assembly from the water main to the property line. The base charge also will include the cost to process meter readings and bill the customer. For a typical 5/8” residential water meter, the quarterly base charge will be $10.57. William J. McGlinn, the District’s General Manager and Chief Engineer indicated that the base charges and commodity charges are based on a cost of service analysis conducted by the District and its professional water rate consultant. Although the District is not regulated by the RI Public Utilities Commission (PUC), Mr. McGlinn noted that the cost of service analysis is consistent with the procedures used by the PUC to establish water rates for regulated utilities.

Although the average water rate increase is 29.8%, the actual increase that customers experience in their total annual water cost will range from 20% to 40% depending on their meter size and quarterly water consumption. Residential customers that use five thousand gallons of water per quarter will experience an increase of approximately 20% and a total annual cost of $157 compared to $131 last year. Residential customers that use ten thousand gallons of water per quarter will experience an increase of approximately 35% and a total annual cost of $326 compared to $242 last year. Residential customers that use fifteen thousand gallons of water per quarter will experience an increase of approximately 40% and a total annual cost of $496 compared to $354 last year. Residential customers that use twenty thousand gallons of water per quarter will experience an increase of approximately 37% and a total annual cost of $665 compared to $486 last year. Residential customers that use twenty-five thousand gallons of water per quarter will experience an increase of approximately 35% and a total annual cost of $834 compared to $619 last year. Residential customers that use fifty thousand gallons of water per quarter will experience an increase of approximately 24% and a total annual cost of $1,682 compared to $1,357 last year.

The last annual water bills have been mailed for two-thirds of the District’s customers, with the final bills scheduled to be mailed during the week of May 19th. Because of the change in billing practices, these annual bills do not include the historical minimum charge for twenty thousand gallons of water in advance. Since the customers paid for the first twenty thousand gallons for FY-14 in their FY-13 water bill, the FY-14 annual bill only includes an overage charge for water used over twenty thousand gallons.

Mr. McGlinn indicated that the treatment plant work is required to enable Newport Water, Portsmouth Water and the Navy to meet current and future federal Safe Drinking Water Act water quality standards. Since 2000, the three island water suppliers have seen numerous violations of the act’s Disinfectants/Disinfection By-products Rule, specifically for trihalomethanes, or TTHMs. The rules for the maximum level for TTHMs became more restrictive this year, making compliance by the island’s water suppliers very unlikely with the current state of the Newport treatment plants. TTHMs, which the EPA classifies as a potential carcinogen, are a by-product formed when chlorine used in water treatment reacts with organic matter in the raw and treated water. In addition, Mr. McGlinn noted that the new treatment processes at the plants will be better able to treat the water for seasonal taste and odor problems, which have been a source of complaints over the years.

In addition to the increased cost of water purchased from Newport, Mr. Driscoll said that the current and projected annual rate increases are necessary to help fund the District’s operating costs, technology improvements, capital improvements and debt service.

The Board approved an operating budget of $3,749,089, which results in an increase over last year’s operating budget of 13.47%. The Board approved a total budget of $4,063,224, which includes capital expenses, for an increase over last year’s total budget of 13.58%.

The District’s property tax revenue will remain unchanged, with the exception of the revenue from the addition of new properties to the tax roll. The District’s current tax rate of $0.18 per thousand dollars of assessed value will be adjusted up or down based on the final assessed values determined by the Town of Portsmouth following its current revaluation process. The current annual district property tax is $72.00 for a property assessed at a value of $400,000. Property tax revenue represents only 12.8% of the District’s total revenue. Mr. Driscoll indicated that the Board is working hard to properly maintain and improve the water system, while providing fair and reasonable rates for customers and taxpayers. Mr. Driscoll also indicated that the Board will continue to ensure that the cost it pays for wholesale water is fair and reasonable by working with Newport Water and intervening in water rate cases before the Public Utilities Commission, as necessary.


 

Date:  October 21, 2013

For Release:  Immediately

Contact:  Philip T. Driscoll – 683-3081
William J. McGlinn – 683-2090
The Portsmouth Water and Fire District will be mailing the annual water district property tax bills on October 25, 2013.

Philip T. Driscoll, Chairman of the Administrative Board, indicated that the District’s tax rate is $0.18 per thousand dollars of assessed value. Mr. Driscoll noted that the tax rate is unchanged from last year.

Tax bills are due on December 1, 2013. Interest of 1% each month will be applied to the unpaid balance for any accounts not paid by the due date.

Any District property owner that has not received a water district tax bill by mid November should contact the District office at 683-2090.



DATE:  May 8, 2013

FOR RELEASE:  Immediately

CONTACT:  Philip T. Driscoll, Administrative Board Chairman –  683-3081
William J. McGlinn, General Manager and Chief Engineer –  683-2090

Portsmouth

WATER RATE INCREASE TO HELP PAY FOR NEW WATER TREATMENT PLANTS

Portsmouth Water and Fire District customers can expect a jump in water rates this year and for the next two years.  According to Administrative Board Chairman, Philip T. Driscoll, the Board voted to increase its water rates by 11.88% for fiscal year 2014, which began on May 1st.  Mr. Driscoll also indicated that the District water rates are projected to increase by an additional 11.88% in fiscal year 2015 and 9.33% in fiscal year 2016.  These increases will help off-set significant wholesale water rate increases from the City of Newport, which are necessary to fund the $84 million replacement of the Lawton Valley Water Treatment Plant in Portsmouth and the upgrade of the Station One Water Treatment Plant in Newport.  Construction of the plants began in 2012 and is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014.

Mr. Driscoll indicated that the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission granted a water rate increase to Newport Water on May 1, 2013, which resulted in a 36.8% increase in the wholesale cost of water to the District. This increase included 17.7% for new debt service for the Newport treatment plants project and 19.1% to adjust the District’s wholesale rate based on a Commission approved cost of service study. In addition, a wholesale rate increase to the District of approximately 24% is expected to take effect on July 1, 2014 to fund additional debt service for the Newport treatment plants project. Mr. Driscoll noted that the Board voted to use $347,000 of cash reserves accrued from prior water sales to off-set the large increase in the wholesale cost of water in fiscal years 2014 and 2015.

Mr. McGlinn, General Manger and Chief Engineer for the District indicated that the treatment plant work is required to enable Newport Water, Portsmouth Water and the Navy to meet current and future federal Safe Drinking Water Act water quality standards. Since 2000, the three island water suppliers have seen numerous violations of the act’s Disinfectants/Disinfection By-products Rule, specifically for trihalomethanes, or TTHMs. The rules for the maximum level for TTHMs will become more restrictive starting in 2013, making compliance by the island’s water suppliers very unlikely with the current state of the Newport treatment plants. TTHMs, which the EPA classifies as a potential carcinogen, are a by-product formed when chlorine used in water treatment reacts with organic matter in the raw and treated water. In addition, Mr. McGlinn noted that the new treatment processes at the plants will be better able to treat the water for seasonal taste and odor problems, which have been a source of complaints over the years.

In addition to the increased cost of water purchased from Newport, Mr. Driscoll said that the current and projected annual rate increases are necessary to help fund the District’s operating costs, capital improvements and debt service, including future debt service for a $1.2 million replacement of the District’s Union Street Pumping Station. Replacement of the forty-seven year-old pumping station is necessary to increase pumping capacity, improve energy efficiency and meet current codes.

A replacement meter reading system was installed by the District in fiscal year 2013, which will allow the District to read meters by radio and switch from annual to quarterly billing, as required by recent changes in state law. A replacement billing system will be purchased as part of the switch to quarterly billing in the fall of 2013. The new system will allow customers to view their water accounts and make payments on-line or by bank draft. Mr. Driscoll noted that quarterly water bills and the new billing system will help customers to better manage the increasing cost of water. The $1.3 million radio meter reading system and billing system were funded through a bond with the Rhode Island Clean Water Finance Agency. Mr. Driscoll indicated that because the project promotes water and energy efficiency, the loan was awarded with 100% principle forgiveness, meaning that the District does not have to pay back the loan.

The Board approved an operating budget of $3,303,914, which results in an increase over last year’s operating budget of 12.80%. The Board approved a total budget of $3,577,280, which includes capital expenses, for an increase over last year’s total budget of 9.79%.

The 2013 annual minimum charge, which includes 20,000 gallons of water, will increase from $111.60 to $131.20 for a residential customer with a 5/8” meter. The 2014 overage charges per thousand gallons of water will increase from $4.97 to $5.56 for usage between 21,000 and 60,000 gallons; from $5.93 to $6.63 for usage between 61,000 and 100,000 gallons; and from $6.60 to $7.38 for all usage over 100,000 gallons. The new rates are for water used from the spring of 2013 to the spring of 2014.

In addition to the increase in water rates, the District service charges, which are included in the minimum charge and are based on meter size and type, have been increased to reflect the higher cost of meters. The service charge for a typical residential customer will be $32.00, an increase of $9.00.

The annual cost of water for an average residential customer that uses 60,000 gallons will be $353.60, an increase of $43.20. The annual cost for a customer that uses 100,000 gallons will be $618.80, an increase of $71.20.

The District’s property tax rate will remain unchanged at $0.18 per thousand dollars of assessed value. The annual district property tax is $72.00 for a property assessed at a value of $400,000. Property tax revenue represents only 15% of the District’s total revenue.

Mr. Driscoll indicated that the Board is working hard to properly maintain and improve the water system, while providing fair and reasonable rates for customers and taxpayers. He noted that there were no rate increases for fiscal year 2013. Mr. Driscoll also indicated that the Board will continue to ensure that the cost it pays for wholesale water is fair and reasonable by working with Newport Water and intervening in water rate cases before the Public Utilities Commission, as necessary.

The 2013 annual water bills, which cover water usage from the spring of 2012 to the spring of 2013, will be mailed to customers in mid-May, with payments due by July 1.


DATE:  July 22, 2011

FOR RELEASE:  Immediately

CONTACT:  William J. McGlinn, General Manager 683-2090
Philip T. Driscoll, Chairman 683-3081

Philip Driscoll, Chairman of the District’s Administrative Board, said that customers that did not receive a call are likely not in the District CodeRED data base. Mr. Driscoll also noted that the District has over 6,400 water customers and cautioned that the system is only as good as the telephone number database supporting it. Mr. Driscoll said, “If your phone number is not in the database, you will not be called. One of the reasons the CodeRED system was selected is it gives individuals and businesses the ability to add their own phone numbers directly into the system’s database, which is an extremely important feature.”

Mr. Driscoll urged all individuals and businesses to log onto the Portsmouth Water and Fire District web site at http://www.portsmouthwater.org and click on the “CodeRED” logo in the upper right corner of the home page to register phone numbers and email addresses. Those without Internet access may call the Portsmouth Water and Fire District’s main office at (401) 683-2090, Monday through Friday, (9AM-4PM) to supply their information over the phone. Required information includes first and last name, street address (physical address, no P.O. boxes), city, state, zip code, and primary phone number, additional phone numbers can be entered as well.

Any customer that did not receive the test call should register. All businesses should register as they are not included in the original data base. Also, all individuals who have unlisted phone numbers, who have changed their phone number or address within the past year, and those who use a cellular phone or VoIP phone as their primary number should also register.

The CodeRED system will be used by the Water District for emergency notification purposes to inform customers of boil water orders, water use restrictions, disruption of service and other emergencies. In addition, the system will be used to notify customers of scheduled work that may impact them such as water system flushing, scheduled disruption of water service and the like.

Any questions about the CodeRED should be directed to the Portsmouth Water and Fire District main office at 401-683-2090.


The Portsmouth Water and Fire District tested its CodeRED Emergency Communications System on July 15th and 16th. The system made 3,712 calls to presumed District residential customer phone numbers, which were combed from public databases. The system connected with over 92% of those phone numbers by reaching either a person or answering machine.

DATE:  July 22, 2011

FOR RELEASE:  Immediately

CONTACT:  William J. McGlinn, General Manager 683-2090
Philip T. Driscoll, Chairman 683-3081

The Emergency Communications Network has combed public databases for the land-line phone numbers associated with District service addresses. Water District customers can provide their additional contact information such as additional phone numbers, cell numbers, email addresses and text addresses through the District’s web site.

Mr. Driscoll stated, “CodeRED gives those who want to be included an easy and secure method for inputting information. No one should automatically assume his or her phone number is included,” urging all individuals and businesses to log onto the Portsmouth Water and Fire District web site at http://www.portsmouthwater.org and click on the “CodeRED” logo to register phone numbers and email addresses. Those without Internet access may call the Portsmouth Water and Fire District’s main office at (401) 683-2090, Monday through Friday, (9AM-4PM) to supply their information over the phone. Required information includes first and last name, street address (physical address, no P.O. boxes), city, state, zip code, and primary phone number, additional phone numbers can be entered as well.

All businesses should register, as well as all individuals who have unlisted phone numbers, who have changed their phone number or address within the past year, and those who use a cellular phone or VoIP phone as their primary number.

Mr. Driscoll explained, “CodeRED allows geographically based delivery, which means street addresses are required to ensure emergency notification calls are received by the proper individuals in a given situation. The system works for cell phones too, but we need to have an associated street address to provide relevant messages.”

The CodeRED system will be used by the Water District for emergency notification purposes to inform customers of boil water orders, water use restrictions, disruption of service and other emergencies. In addition, the system will be used to notify customers of scheduled work that may impact them such as water system flushing, scheduled disruption of water service and the like.

The District will be testing the CodeRED Emergency Notification System on Friday, July 15th when all known phone numbers associated with District addresses will be called with a test message.

Any questions about the CodeRED should be directed to the Portsmouth Water and Fire District main office at 401-683-2090.

About Emergency Communications Network

Emergency Communications Network Inc. (ECN) provides affordable high-speed notification solutions capable of reaching millions of citizens in minutes. ECN’s sophisticated network supports a web-based product suite featuring CodeRED® which enables local government officials to communicate time-sensitive, personalized messages via voice, email and text.


The Portsmouth Water and Fire District has contracted with Emergency Communications Network to license its CodeRED high-speed notification solution. The CodeRED system provides Water District officials with the ability to quickly deliver messages to targeted areas or the entire water system customer base.
Philip Driscoll, Chairman of the District’s Administrative Board, cautioned that such systems are only as good as the telephone number database supporting them. “If your phone number is not in the database, you will not be called.” One of the reasons the CodeRED system was selected is it gives individuals and businesses the ability to add their own phone numbers directly into the system’s database, which is an extremely important feature.