by Lisa Tome
There were a lot of lessons learned from the Wednesday, December 3, all day water emergency in Rising Sun.
According to town administrator Calvin Bonenberger, one of those lessons was that the town needs to tap into Chester Water Authority.
Town crews and contracted help, spent about eight hours and repaired two major water leaks on Main Street at Queen Street. Later in the week, they repaired a smaller leak on Haines Avenue within three hours.
The estimated water loss was 20,000 gallons from the first two leaks. Bonenberger explained that the level of the water in the tower dropped by 12 feet. That means that the net loss after the shut offs was 158,000 gallons. "That's why we need another water source. This drives home how precious our resource is," said Bonenberger. He said the town has maybe two days worth of water, at approximately 180,000 gallons used per day, available.
"It's better than we used to be. The (new) water meters have helped," said Bonenberger. He said the town can cope with an occasional leak that crops up, but collectively, more than one leak, takes a toll on the supply.
Part of the problem is that there is still about 10,000 lineal feet of four-inch water line in use in the town. It was believed that was replaced with an upgraded line three times that size. There are still areas of town, such as on Reynolds Avenue, where that line is still in use. Bonenberger said that causes "brown" water problems at a few homes. "The goal is to replace all that," said Bonenberger.
In 2013, the then town officials passed a resolution which lays out a plan for the town's water and sewer infrastructure. The tasks included are as follows:
• Revisit and revise the impact fee study.
• Adopt an adequate public facilities ordinance.
• Adopt a developer's rights and agreement ordinance.
• Modify the current land development code.
• Determine who will be the town's water engineer going forward.
• Instruct the engineer to prioritize the design of the Maryland portion of the new water line.
• Instruct the water project team to continue discussions with Chester Water on the frame work of an agreement for water.
• Begin the frame work of a rate study to determine the financial needs for this infrastructure and to evaluate the existing financial capabilities of the town to fund this project.
• Identify possible funding sources for the infrastructure upgrades.
• Develop a strategy for dealing with the engineer and contractor on the delays at the sewer plant and handling other issues such as providing water for Southern States.