Town wants survey before extending water lines

by Trish Rudder

Berkeley Springs Water Works (BSWW), the town-owned water department, has been approached by the Warm Springs Public Service District regarding extending its water lines south of town to the ball field area if the sewer company extends its lines.

At the July 2 town council meeting, Councilman Chris Chapman, who chairs the water committee, said the water department needs more information of how many customers would want to attach to the extended water lines.

He said the Eastern Regional Planning and Development Council (Region 9) is going to do a survey to see if people would want to hook up to the water line if it is available.

The estimated cost for a water extension project is about $2 million, Chapman said.

Councilman Rick Weber said a survey might not tell the water department the true number of people who would hook up to the line because people are not always honest about a survey.

“We need more information before making a decision,” Weber said.

There are 125 potential water line customers, but property owners do not have to connect to a public water line that runs by their home. Homes are required to connect to an available sewer line, Chapman said.

Chapman said the sewer department might build tanks to run a water line to those sewer customers.

Councilman John Bohrer asked if past surveys resulted in extending water lines. Town Recorder Susan Webster said people did sign up and water lines were extended around the year 2000. She said the county and the town worked together with the sewer department to extend lines to the Morgan Square at McDonald’s.

Mayor Scott Merki said the existing water lines go as far as the Ridersville Cycle area on U.S. 522. The proposed sewer line would be extended 2.5 miles south, past Shirley Farms to the Waugh Mobile Home Park.

Merki said a potential second water source is needed for the water system but not right now. Webster said a second plant would have to be done for a second water source.

“We need to look into it but with only 120 customers, it does not make sense,” said Merki.