Folks in Round Hill want to be able to turn on the kitchen faucet and get a clear glass of water. They're tired of having their water turn a cloudy brown from August through the end of September.
At a public hearing tomorrow, town residents will have a chance to comment on what they want done about the problem. The session is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in council chambers at Town Hall, behind the Round Hill Mini-Mart.
"We've been trying to ride it out and make it through until something can be done about the water," Mayor Jeffrey Wolford said. "Most of the folks in town know we are doing the best we can for a place this size. But in August and September the water gets real cloudy for some reason. . . . Must be the old pipes or the way the spring flows."
After years of searching for a solution, the Town Council wants the state to help improve its 50-year-old water system for 257 homes and businesses.
"Should we clean up the cloudy water by putting in new water lines or go ahead and build a new water treatment plant?" Wolford said. "That's what we need to know from the citizens."
Three weeks ago the State Health Department turned down Round Hill's proposal to draw water from Sleeter Lake on the outskirts of town, saying it considered the water contaminated by herbicides and pesticides from nearby farms. The lake could have provided 2 million gallons a day to Round Hill, Wolford said.
With that possibility eliminated, the town is left with a 10-million-gallon reservoir that empties into a 200,000-gallon treatment reservoir where chlorine is added to the town's water. Nearly six years ago, state health officials told the town to improve the quality of that water.
"We have been up against it for years," said Wolford. "We have continued talking about building a co-op water treatment plant with Purcellville, but that is still a long way off."
After this week's council meeting, town officials plan to apply to the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development for a block grant to improve the town's water system. The application deadline is Sept. 17.