HB509 (2011) Detail

Relative to drinking water at temporary mass gatherings.






AN ACT relative to drinking water at temporary mass gatherings.

SPONSORS: Rep. DiPentima, Rock 16; Rep. Powers, Rock 16

COMMITTEE: Commerce and Consumer Affairs


This bill requires an operator of a temporary mass gathering to ensure that safe drinking water is available to participants.

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.




In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eleven

AN ACT relative to drinking water at temporary mass gatherings.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1 New Subdivision; Drinking Water at Temporary Mass Gatherings. Amend RSA 155 by inserting after section 78 the following new subdivision:

Drinking Water at Temporary Mass Gatherings

155:79 Definitions. In this subdivision:

I. “Commissioner” means the commissioner of the department of health and human services.

II. “Department” means the department of health and human services.

III. “Drinking water station” means a location where a person may obtain safe drinking water free of charge.

IV. “Operator” means a person, group, corporation, partnership, governing body, association, or other public or private organization legally responsible for the overall operation of a gathering.

V. “Temporary mass gathering” means an actual or reasonably anticipated assembly of 1,000 or more people, which continues and reasonably can be expected to continue for 2 or more hours per day. A temporary mass gathering does not include an assembly of people at a location with permanent facilities designed for that specific assembly, such as a stadium, athletic field, arena, coliseum, amusement park, fairground, or racetrack.

155:80 Safe Drinking Water Supply Requirements; Rulemaking

I. The operator shall ensure that all drinking water is from a department approved safe drinking water supply or bottled water approved by the department of environmental services.

II. Safe drinking water hauled to the gathering shall be hauled and dispensed in a manner approved by the department.

III. The operator shall provide and strategically locate drinking water stations to adequately and effectively meet the drinking water needs of attendees, participants, and staff free of charge. At least 4 drinking water stations are required at a gathering. An additional drinking water station is required for each additional 250 attendees. The commissioner may require additional drinking water stations as deemed necessary because of the time of year, heat index, nature of the event, or other public health related criteria. If containers are needed to drink the water at the required drinking water stations, the operator shall provide single-use containers.

IV. The commissioner shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to the proper administration of this subdivision.

2 Effective Date. This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.



Revised 01/31/11


AN ACT relative to drinking water at temporary mass gatherings.


      The Department of Health and Human Services states this bill will increase state expenditures by an indeterminable amount in FY 2011 and FY 2012. There will be no fiscal impact on state, county or local revenue, or county and local expenditures.


    The Department states this bill requires the operator of a gathering lasting more than 2 hours with 1,000 or more participants to ensure that safe drinking water is available to all participants. Certain events at locations with permanent facilities are exempt. The Department is not able to estimate the number of events that may be held in New Hampshire’s 234 cities and towns in a given year. The Department states a new program component within the Food Protection section would be temporarily established to administer this bill. The Department assumes that administration would include: communicating the requirements to municipalities; surveying municipalities to determine the number of events; and providing criteria for the water provided. The Department estimates the following costs would be required to administer the provisions of this bill:


    FY 2012

    FY 2013

    Part-Time Planning Analyst / Program Coordinator Lg 24 (3 days / week)






    Current Expense – Supplies, phone, postage






    In State Travel



    Office Rent






    The Department assumes it would not have responsibility for local enforcement and states development of the rules and communicating the requirements to municipalities could occur in a 12 to 18 month period after which the ongoing costs could be absorbed within the program.


HB509 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type

Bill Text Revisions

HB509 Revision: 19312 Date: Feb. 1, 2011, midnight