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Grant money likely available to extend water line

August 06, 2003|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

Washington County Health Department officials told the County Commissioners Tuesday that state grant money probably would be available for a water line extension in the Boonsboro area, a project being proposed to keep several homes and businesses from using potentially contaminated well water.

Laurie Bucher, environmental health director for the Health Department, said in June that well and surface water for some homes and businesses along Old National Pike from Lappans Road (Md. 68) to Mill Point Road was contaminated with fecal bacteria, posing a serious public health risk.

The homes and businesses are in the county's jurisdiction, not the town of Boonsboro.

Bucher said surface water containing pathogens can seep into the well water, causing people to get sick with flu-like symptoms from several diseases.

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The Health Department and the Maryland Department of the Environment recommended that the town of Boonsboro's water line be extended, so residents and businesses won't have to use contaminated well water.

According to a county document, Boonsboro's water line would be extended by 6,000-feet to accommodate the homes and businesses that might have contaminated well water.

County Water Quality Director Greg Murray said the cost of the proposed project could be about $600,000.

Bucher said state dollars might only cover about $400,000 of that cost in fiscal year 2005.

Boonsboro Town Councilman Kevin Chambers said in June that while the town would extend the water line to service the county customers, it did not want to pay for the extension.

The county said in June it did not want to take on the costs of the project.

The commissioners did not take any action on the proposed water line extension Tuesday.

Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook requested that officials return at a later meeting with a more detailed cost-analysis.

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