System changes mulled at water plant

Posted: December 19, 2013

The Winchester Star

BERRYVILLE — In light of issues with the telephone lines controlling a system that monitors levels in the storage towers at its water plant, the Clarke County Sanitation Authority wants a cost estimate for switching to radio control.

The system — which was installed in the mid-1990s — monitors the levels in tanks in Boyce, Millwood and White Post and triggers the plant to pump more water to them when the levels get too low. It also allows the plant operator to monitor the levels remotely.

Sanitation Authority Chairman Ian Williams suggested at the group’s meeting on Tuesday that Anderson Engineering examine the system and give the panel some idea what the conversion would cost.

Member Alexander “Dan” Mackay-Smith Jr. noted that glitches with the telephone service have caused numerous problems with the system since it was installed.

He suggested the engineers also examine other aspects of the water plant and determine what should be replaced given the age of some of the equipment and the difficulty of getting parts for pieces that are now obsolete.

Authority Administrator Mike Legge said the engineers should also give suggestions on how the production ability of the plant might be increased.

Legge said the authority has permission from the state to take 180,000 gallons per day from the Prospect Hill Spring to serve Boyce, Millwood and White Post and the commercial area in Waterloo.

However, he said, the equipment at the water plant is close to its capacity at 100,000 gallons per day and the demand can come close to that figure on very hot summer days.

“We have the water available, but we don’t have the equipment,” he said.

A 21-house subdivision is coming to Boyce, he noted, and there is always the possibility of a big fire.

“If we had a fire on July 4th on a 100-degree day, we’d be in trouble,” Legge said.

The authority voted to ask for a cost estimate for a study to answer all the members’ questions, to be made available at its Jan. 21 meeting.

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

— Contact Val Van Meter at vvanmeter@winchesterstar.com