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Boil water order is issued for Fox Glen subdivision in W.Va.

April 05, 2002|BY DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

KEARNEYSVILLE, W.Va. - About two weeks ago, Marge Woelkers began noticing discoloration in her well water in the Fox Glen subdivision along W.Va. 9 west of Charles Town.

On March 28, the water turned darker, until it looked like "chicken soup," said Woelkers, one of about 200 homeowners in the subdivision who has been advised by state health officials to boil their water.

"I didn't even taste it. I immediately boiled my water. I didn't wait for a boil-water alert," Woelkers said Thursday.

Last Friday, state Bureau of Public Health officials issued a boil water order to Fox Glen residents. The order suggests that Fox Glen residents bring their water to a "rolling boil" for at least one minute before using it to cook, drink or brush their teeth, said Bob Hart, district office coordination manager for the Bureau of Public Health.

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The order does not necessarily mean there is something wrong with the water in Fox Glen, Hart said. Health officials issued the boil water order as a precautionary measure to protect homeowners there, he said.

Hart said it is hard to determine what may be causing the discoloration in the subdivision's water. Residents have been telling Bureau of Public Health officials that the water is typically clear during the day but discolored at night.

That could be caused by a heavier demand for water at night, Hart said. It is possible that when more water is being drawn out of the well at night, sediment is mixing with the water, Hart said.

Hart said the situation could be aggravated by the drought.

"It's hard to say," Hart said.

Engineers with the Bureau of Public Health tested the water in Fox Glen Monday and found no signs of bacteria, Hart said.

Hart said the owners of Fox Glen, Terry and Ronnie Marcus, plan to drill another well in the subdivision in the hope of correcting the situation.

The Marcuses could not be reached for comment Thursday afternoon.

It's unclear how long the boil-water order will remain in effect, Hart said.

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