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County leaders to dive into water problems this fall

At least 36 communities in Loudoun County – many in suburban eastern Loudoun – are living with problems with their drinking and waste water systems, an assessment report presented to supervisors on June 20 revealed.

Of those communities, the report showed, 16 were studied to determine the funding levels needed to solve those problems. The total price tag was more than $27.4 million.

Loudoun supervisors are expected to delve deep into this report this fall in what will likely be a series of committee of the whole discussions to try and find solutions to these problems through policy, planning and implementation.

The report is a product of an eight-member task force consisting of various county department representatives that was created by government leaders in 2007 to develop a plan to solve potential future and existing water and sewer needs in Loudoun County.

The task force met on a part-time basis between 2007 and 2010 to develop the report.

Supervisors deferred discussing the report in January because of scheduling conflicts.

In the report, task force members used Health Department surveys to determine communities’ needs.

Among the findings:
* Paeonian Springs, a community along Route 9 north of Route 7 consisting of 116 homes, carried the largest price tag to bring its on-site water and sewer systems up to par. The estimated cost for a community water and sewer system is $4.6 million. Properties located within the community, the report found, are small with older facilities. Thirteen percent of the facilities are considered to be unsatisfactory and the status of another 27 percent of the facilities is unknown.

* Other communities living on failing facilities included Lincoln, an area of 60 homes south of Purcellville along Lincoln Road. The area, surveyed by the Health Department in 1999, was found to have 33 percent of its sewage disposal systems failing. It would cost $3.2 million to construct a community water and sewer system, the report shows.

* The Town of Hillsboro, surveyed in 1999 by the Health Department, runs on a spring and a drilled well. The town has been on a boil water notice since 2000, meaning the water is not safe to consume unless first boiled. The estimated cost for a community water and sewer system is $2.4 million.

Many of the communities identified in the report in eastern Loudoun are older communities that were bypassed by the central water system when development began to spring up in the area, including Potomac Farms.

The community of 156 homes on Smith Circle, west of Loudoun County Parkway, is serviced by privately owned wells and on-site sewer systems. Residents regularly complain to the state Department of Health about low water pressure and aesthetic water quality issues, the report shows. It would cost $3.9 million to replace the privately operated water system.

Also included in the survey is Broad Run Farms, a community of 425 homes north of Route 7 in Sterling. The community is served by public sewer with the exception of a few on-site waste water systems. The price for extending public sewer to the remaining homes is unknown, but several wells adjacent to the nearby Hidden Lane Landfill are contaminated with trichloroethylene, the report said. Trichloroethylene is commonly used as an industrial solvent.

The task force in its report listed nine recommendations for the Board of Supervisors to address the county’ water and sewer problems, including policies to ensure central water and waste water systems to communities as they become available; funding options such as capital needs assessments and capital improvement programs; and inter-jurisdictional collaboration among others.

To view the entire report go to http://www.loudoun.gov.


What has the known done for all of these years and what does he plan to do?  He has done nothing for Purcellville or the Crooked Run Farm, even with his alliance with Mr. Lazaro.  We know the know and in my book it stinks.  Flush him.


As we have discussed before, when it comes to negotiations between the Town’s and the County, the town citizens are already well represented at the table by the town councils.  In the past, the citizens impacted by town expansion who live outside the town have had their interests represented by Kurtz, Burton, and York.  Now that York has re-aligned with the pro-development LCRC and has been joined by Higgins and Clarke one needs to ask “who will speak for the county citizens outside the towns in these deliberations?”  I know where Burton and Baldwin fall on these issues and whose voice they will use when the time comes.  I don’t know about Janet or Higgins and it looks like York has jumped ship as well.  It does look as if Janet has significant ties to the developers in this area if you look at the people who have endorsed her - one in particular is Brent Cambell - Toll Brother’s land man turned commercial developer.  Additionally, she has longterm relationships with the very people with whom she will need to do battle (and yes, sometimes its a battle). 

Higgins has repeatedly taken development industry contributions for his various campaigns and has been recently attending Hamilton TC meetings (Hamilton is currently attempting to re-write their comp plan - something the County must agree to and the first step to expansion of the town.)

Sorry, I know you have a friendship with Janet but she simply does not have the track record Jim has when it comes to protecting county resident’s interests in land use disputes with the towns and developers.  I will take the known over the unknown (at best) in this case.

Hey, the NIMBY/BANANA alliance have figured out how to reduce Loudoun’s population: just do nothing to the water systems. The systems in Western Loudoun are probably ageing; the systems in Eastern Loudoun are probably the result of development gone bad.

It always does cracks me up when residents of new subdivisions complain about development.


Because I’ve known Ms. Clarke for a very long time, I believe your comments to be inaccurate. I’ve learned that she understands what makes western Loudoun unique.  She will work to preserve our communities while at the same time working with the towns to address their concerns. In other words, she will represent all of the residents of western Loudoun very well. 

I encourage you to continue your support of Mr. Burton, but don’t misrepresent Ms. Clarke in the process.  I’d rather hear more about what Mr. Burton or Ms. Clarke will do to fix the water problems being discussed.

geez, all of these systems were running kaput during the reign of lord jim and now he tells us we should be worried. what has he done for the last 16 years when this was happening?  the pro water and sewer system failure candidate jim burton has delivered another fine mess and now wants to be reelected to fix a problem he caused.

Malcolm Baldwin and Jim Burton will not represent the in-towners, only the PEC, you know that.  Any thoughts on what happened to the Lazaro/York/PEC alliance?

The cost of water/sewer in Purcellville is not only unsustainable but unnecessary.  Now the Town spend ANOTHER $750,000 that it doesn’t have to do what??? Find more water because we don’t have enough.  No worries though.  Janet Clarke will build our way out of the fiscal mess. That will help resolve this water problem too. What a fool.


You conveniently skipped the second half of Old Loudoun’s comment:

“...and didn

From the reporter:

@Told you so,

We did not provide the entire website because the url was too long for print. However, here is the link to the entire report http://www.loudoun.gov/controls/speerio/resources/RenderContent.aspx?data=86c72e62daa74311a0250f2f1e99bf88&tabid=312&fmpath;=/Business+Meeting+Packets/2011/06-20-11+and+06-21-11+BOS+Meeting+Packets/

The county web site is designed to make this report difficult to locate. Why did you not provide the actual link to the report instead of a link just to the front page of the county web site?

This situation with water supplies is just another inevitable bad result of the manic development that occurred in Loudoun County until the housing crash, engineered by Democrats in Washington, slowed things down. Repeated county administrations dominated by both parties caused this situation. Developers were allowed to manipulate the system with total disregard for the effects of their business activities on taxes and public services.

Now, once again, the taxpayers of Loudoun County will be expected to pay for all the development that produced zero benefits for us.

Scott York is one big bully.  Yep, that’s all he is.  A BIG BULLY.  It’s no wonder there is so much animosity in this community.  Is there a 12 step for bullies?  Or do we need an intervention?

Looks like a study done prior to the current board resurfaces just as the Republicans think they are moving back into the dias.  Interesting.  Is this a justification for running water and sewer so that more developers can run rampant?  I hope not.

This isn’t about ENOUGH water, but aging treatment and distribution systems.

Looks like the answer suggested is replacement or upgrading of engineered solutions, i.e. not good old fashioned well and drainfield.

And lots of people will no doubt show up to testify against that!

Years ago (15 or so) I’d go to hearings on yet another special exception building permit by one developer or another…and a hydrologist would testify that Loudoun couldn’t supply enough water and didn’t have the right rock formations underground, to sustain the sort of massive development that was being proposed.  Everyone in authority (or making a buck off the impending explosion) laughed and said that was chicken little talk.  Guess they were wrong.  Not much comfort in being right, either.

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