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Water access for future users in Clear Spring to be restricted

March 05, 2002|BY SCOTT BUTKI

The Washington County Planning Commission voted Monday to change the text in the county Water and Sewerage Plan concerning the town of Clear Spring to reflect that a transmission line will be restricted for some future users.

The town of Clear Spring won't be able to provide water from a proposed storage tank for new developments outside a county-designated area that includes the existing water service area and the entire town, Senior Planner Tim Lung said.

The designated area, known as the Priority Funding Area, is where the county encourages growth to occur, he said.

New properties outside that area will instead have to use wells for water, Lung said.

There are similar restricted lines elsewhere in the county, Lung said.

The Maryland Department of the Environment asked the town to make the administrative change and the town requested the commission take Monday's action.

The town of Clear Spring has applied to the Maryland Department of the Environment for funding to build the tank to improve its water system, Lung said.

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The proposed 522,000-gallon water storage tank would be near the town well and reservoir at the foot of Fairview Mountain, about one mile west of town, Lung said.

An eight-inch transmission line along U.S. 40 connects the reservoir to the town's water distribution system, Lung said.

But the well, reservoir and most of the transmission line are outside the Priority Funding Area, Lung said. The MDE does not normally provide money for projects outside such areas, he said.

In order for the town water system to be consistent with state policies the line must be restricted, Lung said.

The proposed tank could store treated water, allowing the town's in-ground concrete reservoir to be taken off-line, inspected and possibly rehabilitated, Lung said.

Funding for the project may come from a variety of sources including the town, the MDE and potential grant funds, he said.

The MDE will not even consider funding the tank unless the change is made, Mayor Paul D. Hose Jr. said Sunday.

The new tank is needed because the town reservoir, which it would replace, is leaking, Hose said. A new tank may cost as much as $500,000, he said.

The town council, at its Jan. 14 meeting, agreed to have its line restricted to some users, he said.

Clear Spring's water system is owned by the town but operated by the Washington County Water and Sewer Department.

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