Water District Drinking Water Source
The Cocheco River Watershed drains 185 square miles from 11 towns in New Hampshire. Major water features include Bow Lake, Ayers Pond, the main stem of the Cocheco River, and its largest tributaries, the Ela, Mad, Mohawk, Berrys, and Isinglass Rivers. The watershed includes hundreds of small streams, ponds, and wetlands. Landscapes range from forested floodplains and peat lands, to open grasslands and mixed pine, oak and hemlock forests. A number of these areas have been identified as significant habitat for a wide variety of wildlife including many threatened and endangered species. Parcels of state, municipal, and privately managed conservation land are located throughout the watershed. The upper watershed is characterized as rural and largely forested. Significant development occurs around Farmington center and Sunrise Lake. The lower section is much more developed and includes the 4th (Rochester at 31,000) and 7th (Dover at 28,495) largest cities in the state.
The Berrys River is the drinking water source for the town of Rochester.
The Cocheco River is the drinking water source for the city of Dover and also receives the outflow from the municipal wastewater treatment facilities in Dover, Farmington, and Rochester. The river drops 730 feet from its headwaters to its confluence with the Salmon Falls River in Dover. The river passes one dam at the mill complex in Dover center. There is also a dam located on Bow Lake at the beginning of the Isinglass River.