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June 27, 2011 

Water Quality Questions

Some terms defined:

I. President’s Corner

Once again Beaches Water Cooperative has had a very challenging year. Dennis DiBello and his team have spent tremendous time and resources repairing multiple leaks in our system, most resulting from aging infrastructure, piping which has been in the ground for 80 years in some cases. The cost of repairing those leaks and in pumping water which does not benefit anyone has put a serious dent in our budget, sucking up resources which would have been better spent making capital improvements. Our ability to find those leaks is only possible in some cases with water meters. True conservation of water by our members will probably only happen when meters are installed, and that is also the only way to be sure that each of our members shares the true cost of operation.

The economic difficulties in our country and in our community have been very apparent in the service area of Beaches Water Cooperative, and we have had to become very creative in planning for the sound financial future of our water system, which is required of the Board of Directors. We are working on multiple possibilities for financing to complete improvements to allow full water pressure to all of the community, to provide total fire hydrant coverage, to provide backflow prevention, and to find and replace the old piping in our system which has caused so much waste, all of which is again, dependent on the installation of water meters. Meters will allow a base charge for low-volume users, and indications are that charge will be at or perhaps even below our current charge. Higher volume users will pay their fair share of costs for water used. Despite being a not-for-profit cooperative, we have found that we have not been eligible for most grants and low interest loans due to the high average level of household income in our community, so we are working now on several avenues to obtain financing, an absolute necessity to maintain our system. We will let our members know what is successful and what the future will hold for our shared community resource.

We must always plan for the future of our cooperative, and you may be able to help. If you have a financial or engineering background and a willingness to volunteer some of your time, we could use some expert in-house advice. We are short at least one Director on the Board, and need as much community input as possible.

Finally, PLEASE DO NOT ABUSE THE PRECIOUS RESOURCE WHICH YOUR COOPERATIVE SUPPLIES! Even during the drought last summer, we had people in the community running in-ground sprinkler systems and above-ground sprinklers and wasting water down local streets. When we have meters installed in the system, those who choose to water during our ever-hotter summers will pay for that privilege. It appears that we are in for a record-setting HOT, DRY summer. Please avoid water- wasting lawn sprinklers, and keep valuable plants, trees and shrubs healthy through watering with a handheld hose. As in the past, and even in the future with meters in place, Beaches Water Cooperative may have to require water use restrictions to ensure maintaining an adequate supply for the community. Please continue to do what you can to conserve water every day.

Gary Clarke, President

Announcing the Beaches Water Cooperative's Annual Meeting
Date: September 11, 2011       Time: 3:00 pm
Location: Long Beach Civic Center on Calvert Blvd

II. Water System Operations, Maintenance & Improvements

Another year has gone by and because we have been so busy, it seems like only a few months. We have had a lot of everything this past year. Implementation of new regulations directly from the EPA, capital improvement grant and loan application discussions with MDE, USDA, commercial banks and industry suppliers, installation of new mains, preparation of the Flag Ponds site, along with our share of water leaks, pressure regulator and pump failures.

Our biggest accomplishment this past year was the installation of a new 6 inch service main and 4 inch fill pipe on Locust Street. I must say upfront thanks to all the wonderful residents on Locust Street who were patient with our slow pace. It took a long time to do the installation using our internal labor and budget but we saved at least half the costs. We now have the capability to supply well water via the 4 inch fill line to a future storage tank at our new site in Flag Ponds as well as improve water flow via the 6 inch main at the top of Ash Street. Under our excavation permit we cleared the Flag Ponds property for the new tank but got held up with the site plan review. We hope to resume in the Fall under our new capital budget.

As the weather changed to hot days in May our water consumption spiked. Community members called and asked why water pressure was low. We have plenty of capacity to provide normal water service but not for a lot of lawn watering in combination with other uses. Doing the math, we can pump about 400 gpm with our 8 wells. A lawn sprinkler can use as much as 5 gpm. If we have 10% of the community running lawn sprinklers (800 members x 10%), 80 is our limit before we exceed our pump capability and pressure drops. That can be a combination of lawn watering, plant watering, filling pools, washing car/houses, showers, and clothes washing all at the same time. This usually happens on Saturday or Sunday evenings from 6-11 pm; this is our heaviest demand period. It would be better if, outside watering can occur during off-peak periods.

As many of you know parts of our system piping dates back to 1929 when the first Long Beach subdivision was formed. Some of that pipe is in great shape some is not. It is not only the old pipe that leaks. Some of the newer pipe also has had problems. On a relatively new 6 inch main on Bayview Ave, we had a major blowout which drained down the system via a pressure regulator on Douglas Street. The pressure regulator then failed when we had our heavy demand period in May. Between Thanksgivings to mid-January we virtually had a leak a day to respond to; Even on Christmas Eve. I am very proud of the diligent work from the BWC field and office team. From the Business Manager/Superintendent

III. Right of Ways

From time to time it is necessary to repair, replace, or install new distribution piping in the right-of-ways. More of this will be happening with the installation of water meter pits. When this happens, you may notice digging alongside the road in the right-of-ways. These road right-of-ways exist past the paved portion of the road and are usually 40 or 50 feet wide whereas the road may only be 25 foot wide. Many community members maintain these right-of-ways areas as part of their yards. When it is necessary to dig in these areas we will always return these areas to the same or better condition than they were in prior to the work. Remember we are a member owned organization and those BWC guys out there working are looking out for the best interests of the community.

IV. National Night Out

Come and join us for the 28th Annual National Night Out on Tuesday, August 2, 2011. National Night Out is a unique crime/drug prevention event sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch. Beaches Water Co-op is proud to participate in this important campaign to strengthen neighborhood spirit and heighten crime and drug prevention awareness. Come out and meet your Board members. Location: Long Beach Civic Center on Calvert Blvd

V. Pool Fees

The Rules of Beaches Water Cooperative allow for an annual assessment of pool fees for members who have pools. This fee is usually assessed in April and is equal to one quarter's water fee. If a pool is large enough to require a filter and/or pump then a pool fee may be assessed. If a pool is not in use, a member may notify us in writing that the pool is not being used and request a fee waiver. Once we have confirmed that the pool is not being used a credit may be issued for the fee. When meters have been installed a separate pool fee may not be necessary since billing will occur on the basis of actual water usage.

VI. Annual Water Quality & Consumer Confidence Report

Our drinking water is safe and meets all federal and state requirements for community drinking water. In 2010, there were no water quality violations. Our water quality results are based on the monitoring cycle for the contaminant up to December 31st, 2010. The amount of contaminants in our drinking water is well below levels set by the Environmental Protection Agency in all categories. We routinely monitor for contaminants in your drinking water according to Federal and State laws. All drinking water, including bottled drinking water, may be reasonably expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. It's important to remember that the presence of these contaminants does not necessarily pose a health risk. If you have any questions about the Annual Water Quality Report please contact us at 410-586-8710.

Microbial Results MCLG MCL Level Detected Violation Likely Source of Contamination
Total Coliform Bacteria 0 > 5% samples 0 NO Naturally present in the environment
Antimony (mg/L) 0.006 0.006 0.0025 NO Fire retardants; ceramics; electronics; solder
Arsenic (ppb) 1.0 10 7.2 NO Natural deposits
Cadmium (mg/L) 0.005 0.005 0.001 NO Corrosion of galvanized pipes; erosion of natural deposits; runoff from waste batteries and paints
Chloroform (ug/L) n/a 80 0.6 NO Drinking water disinfection byproduct
Chromium (mg/L) 0.1 0.1 0.0025 NO Erosion of natural deposits
Copper (mg/L) 1.3   0.21 NO Natural deposits; corrosion of household piping
Halocetic Acids n/a 0.60 0.0027 NO Drinking water disinfection byproduct
Iron - (mg/L) -- -- 0.14 NO Natural deposits
Fluoride - (mg/L) 4.0 4.0 0.32 NO Erosion of natural deposits; Leaching
Potassium(mg/L) -- -- 16.3 NO Natural deposits-clay
Silica (mg/L) -- -- 15.6 NO Natural deposits-sand
Sodium - (mg/L) -- -- 6.9 NO Natural deposits; Leaching
Total Trihalomethanes (mg/L) n/a 0.80 0.0095 NO Drinking water disinfection byproduct
Total Dissolved Solids (mg/L) 500 500 156 NO Natural deposits
Gross Alpha (pCi/L) 0 15 1.0 NO Erosion of natural deposits
Gross Beta (pCi/L) 0 50 17 NO Erosion of natural deposits

Lead Statement: If present, elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Lead in drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with service lines and home plumbing. Beaches Water Co-op is responsible for providing high quality drinking water, but cannot control the variety of materials used in plumbing components. When your water has been sitting for several hours, you can minimize the potential for lead exposure by flushing your tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using water for drinking or cooking. If you are concerned about lead in your drinking water, you may wish to have your water tested. Information on lead in drinking water, testing methods, and steps you can take to minimize exposure is available from the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791 or at

Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immuno-compromised persons such as persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly, and infants can be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. EPA/Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium and other microbial contaminants are available from the Safe Water Drinking Hotline (800-426-4791).

Water Source: Our water is drawn from deep wells in the Aquia and Nanjemoy aquifers.

VII. Financial

The following chart is a breakdown of the budget for the fiscal year 7/1/11 6/30/12.

Water service 318,800
Pool water service 4,800
Space Rental 1,200
Advertising-Quarterly 1,500
Application, Transfer & Other Fees 5,000
Total Income $331,300
Auditing 8,250
Bad Debt 1,000
Bank Service Charges 560
Depreciation Expense 71,039
Professional Memberships 486
Engineering 1,500
Insurance 12,750
Loan Interest 200
Mortgage Pay Down 4,235
Mortgage Interest - MDE 1,343
Legal 425
Licenses and Permits 244
Office - Other 5,404
Operating Supplies 12,000
Repairs & Maintenance 24,150
Routine Service 149,264
Solid Waste Fee & BRF 210
Utilities 35,655
Water Testing 2,585
Total Expense $331,300
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