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Supervisors vote to create Middlesex Water Authority

by Tom Chillemi

Something as simple as water can get very complicated.

Following a public hearing on Tuesday, June 10, the Middlesex County Board of Supervisors created the “Middlesex Water Authority.” The authority’s single purpose will be to determine if there is enough demand to build a water system in areas of Middlesex that have been designated as service areas.

Good water is most needed in Deltaville.

That’s because in Deltaville, water is not simple. Water wells laden with sediment are the norm—and have been for years. Some residents have gotten used to rust stains on sinks and fixtures.

Many have tried to treat the water with in-home systems, but have had limited success.

At least one forward-thinking resident devised a way to collect rain water off his roof for household use.

Many others fill jugs with drinking water from a spigot at the Lower Middlesex Volunteer Fire Department, or lug gallon jugs from stores.

A persistent issue
“It’s time to address the question that has been around a long, long time,” said Bob LeBeouf, the board of supervisors member who represents Hartfield District. “Are enough people willing to pay for this service that it will be commercially viable? If the answer is ‘yes,’ let’s do it. If the answer is ‘no,’ let’s not talk about it any more.”

It’s been about 18 years since a central water feasibility study was done. The study estimated it would cost $7.5 million to serve 114 houses and 60 businesses, build elevated storage tanks, and drill two wells. There was no water authority then. After much debate, most citizens didn’t want central water.

The question still looms, “Do we want it?” asked Carlton Revere during a public meeting on the water authority on June 5 in Deltaville. Revere, of Hartfield, is one of four citizen members the supervisors appointed to the Middlesex Water Authority.

The other members of the authority board are Beth Hurd, the Deltaville representative on the Middlesex Board of Supervisors; Greg Chambers of Cedar Pointe near Urbanna; James Michael Reed of the Urbanna area; and Janet V. Riggs of Hartfield, an accountant.

Read the rest of this story in this week’s Southside Sentinel at newstands throughout the county, or sign up here to receive a print and/or electronic pdf subscription.

posted 06.11.2014

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