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Town well falls through on
water quality concerns

Vic Bradshaw
Frederick News-Post

(1/16/2003) If you see Burgess Donald Trimmer with a divining rod, don’t be alarmed. He’s probably trying to solve one of the town’s problems.

Efforts to get a new town well on-line have failed again, the burgess said at Tuesday’s board of commissioners meeting. After drilling two dry holes, Woodsboro’s latest attempt had the quantity needed but failed a quality test.

Mr. Trimmer said the Maryland Department of Environment refused to permit the well because of bacteria contamination. ³That left us right where we started," he said.

Where the town started was with five good wells instead of the six they used to have. One well went dry, but the town got a $150,000 state grant to help bring another one into use.

Some of that money can pay for the three unusable holes drilled so far. The next spot targeted by a geologic study is on a hill near the new soccer field in Woodsboro Community Park.

Still, the town isn’t about to run out of water. During 2002's severe drought conditions, Mr. Trimmer said the town didn’t have to impose major bans on water use. It only placed restrictions on lawn watering and car washing.

But more water is necessary if Woodsboro is to grow. The town’s planning and zoning commission was to review plans for a 37-home subdivision Wednesday night.

"You can never have enough wells," the burgess said. "If we build 37 houses down here, if we do any more annexations, we’re going to need more."

The town can use the revenue that would flow from new tap fees because it’s about to install a water filtration system, a project that will cost almost $3 million. The federal government is contributing about $1.5 million toward the change, Commissioner Gary Smith said, but the town has to come up with the remaining $1.3 million to $1.4 million.

Adding the filtration system should improve water quality. Mr. Trimmer said the state seems to be moving toward mandating filtration systems, so the town decided to switch while working on its new well.

But a suitable spot must first be found. Mr. Trimmer said the town is running out of fresh land to drill on that’s not already tapping into aquifers, so buying land might be necessary.

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