Clarke County Sanitation Authority passes resolution requiring residents to connect to lines

Posted: July 18, 2013

The Winchester Star

BERRYVILLE — The Clarke County Sanitary Authority on Tuesday passed a resolution requiring residents to connect to its lines within its service area.

The wording followed a similar resolution passed by the county supervisors in December 2005.

Authority staff member Mike Legge said the issue arose when a customer asked to cap the water line to her property because she desired to use an existing well.

Legge said authority members decided they should have a policy covering mandatory connections.

The public water system, which serves Boyce, Millwood and White Post, along with the commercial area in the Waterloo community, is relatively small and the cost of maintaining the system — which draws its water from Prospect Hill Spring — must be spread over as many customers as possible.

“We only have a few hundred water customers,” said authority member Joe Myer of Boyce. “With numbers that small, everybody needs to be online, to keep costs as low as possible.”

Authority members agreed to some exceptions, such as a situation in which a structure is so far from the water line, perhaps on a large farm, that connecting to it would create an unreasonable hardship.

The authority did not include the sewer system in the mandatory hookup requirement because that system belongs to Clarke County. The authority only manages it for the county government.

Supervisor John Staelin, who also sits on the authority, told the governing body at its meeting that Virginia regulations now bar counties from demanding mandatory connections to their utilities.

However, Staelin noted, if the county government were to sell the sewage treatment system to the authority, it could make those hookups mandatory in its service area.

The customer whose request started the discussion was allowed to disconnect, Legge added, because the request was made before the authority passed its resolution.

Attending the meeting in the Joint Government Center were Chairman Ian Williams and members Joe Myer, Ralph Welliver and Alexander “Dan” Mackay-Smith Jr. A.R. “Pete” Dunning Jr. was absent.

— Contact Val Van Meter at vvanmeter@winchesterstar.com