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Water project advances in W.Va.

August 22, 1997

By DON AINES

Staff Writer, Martinsburg

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - For the past several weeks, construction crews have been churning up land along Interstate 81 north of Martinsburg, preparing to lay several miles of new water mains for the Opequon Public Service District.

General Manager Richard Beegle said work on the $2.4 million project began in mid-June, about a month after the contract was awarded to the Charles E. Brake Co. of St. Thomas, Pa. The construction of the 23,500 feet of 24-inch water mains should be completed before the year is out, Beegle said.

"It goes from our new water treatment plant to the Woodbrier Golf Course area, where it will tie into some other existing large mains," Beegle said. Bruce Dorsey, the chairman of the board for the public utility, said the line's path along I-81 is designed "to meet the increased demand because of the tremendous growth in the area," particularly for industries.

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Opequon's existing lines serve the area north of the filtration plant and south along U.S. 11. He said the public utility has about 3,800 customers now, "but that number changes almost every day."

The water treatment plant at the river and a water tower northeast of Martinsburg were completed in 1995 at a cost of about $7 million and the system has a daily capacity of three million gallons, according to Dorsey. Beegle said the plant's capacity is expandable to 10 or 12 million gallons a day.

Dorsey said the project is being financed through a no-interest loan from a state program to assist economic development. He said Opequon's customers recently had a rate hike and he doesn't anticipate the new main will result in any increase for customers.

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