Rules & By-Laws
Make a Payment
Newsletters / CCRs
June 22, 2012
"To provide water service
that is dependable, economical, and meets or exceeds health standards
for all cooperative members"
- President's Corner
- Water System Operation, Maintenance & Improvements
- Setting Water Rates
- Right of Ways
- Water Heater Expansion Tank
- Bay Restoration Fund Fee
- Annual Water Quality & CCR Report
5901 Hillside Rd
P.O. Box 164
8:00 am - 4:00 pm
(410) 586-8710 (ph)
(410) 586-1963 (fax)
Gary Clarke - President
Fritz Riedel - Vice President
Sandy Anderson - Sec-Treas.
Bill Bozman - Director
Dan Crain - Director
J.R. Mathers - Director
Dennis DiBello -
Business Manager/ Superintendent
Jackie Jacob - Bookkeeper
Belinda Gilbert-Asst. Receptionist
Kenny Grover - Operations Tech.
Bob Gross - Helper
Attend a monthly Board of
Director’s meeting at the office
(5901 Hillside Road) generally on the second Thursday of the month. Call
Do we add fluoride to the drinking water?
- No we do not. Although in some areas of the country water systems add
fluoride to the water, Beaches Water Co-op is only licensed by the
State of Maryland to treat the drinking water for bacter- iological
concerns. Trace amounts of fluoride naturally occur in the aquifers,
but those amounts are not significant to aid in children's dental
growth and development. Many doc- tors/dentists prescribe fluoride
supplements or children's vitamins with fluoride.
- Water is disinfected to ensure it is safe to drink. Chlorine
treatment is the most common and effective disinfectant. At times the
trea- ted water may have a chlorine smell. This is the free chlorine
residual that we must maintain to ensure the water at your tap is safe
to drink. Letting the water stand for a few minutes dissipates the
water meets EPA’s standard for arsenic, it does contain low levels of
EPA’s standard balances the current understanding of arsen- ic’s
effects against the cost of removing arsenic from drinking water. EPA continues to research
the health effect
of low levels of arsenic. Arsenic is a mineral known to, at high
con- centrations, cause cancer in humans, and is linked to other health
such as skin dam- age and circulatory problems.
are contaminants in my drinking water?
including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least
amounts of some contaminants. The presence of contaminants does not
indicate that water poses a health risk. More information about
and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the
Protection Agency's (EPA) Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791). In order to ensure that
tap water is safe to
drink, EPA prescribes regulations that limit the amount of certain
in water provided by public water systems.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations
establish limits for
contaminants in bottled water which must provide the same
protection for public health.
To aid in water conservation for our community, BWC is offering, at wholesale cost, water saving shower heads and faucet aerators. These water saving devices use to less water than the regular devices and produce similar water pressures. These water saving devices can be purchased, by our members only, at the BWC office for the following prices:
Tips for Conserving Water:
Turn off water while brushing your teeth or shaving
Keep your shower to five minutes or less
Only use dishwasher or washing machine with a full load
Repair leaky faucets, toilets, or pipes
Use water efficient faucet aerators/showerheads
Mulch your flower & vegetable beds to reduce evaporation
Water your garden in the morning when evaporation is less
Landscape using drought tolerant plants
Please observe water restrictions when signs are posted.
Some terms defined:
- The concentration of a contaminant, which, if exceeded, triggers
treatment or other requirements, which a water system must follow.
(ND) - Laboratory analysis indicates that the
constituent is not present.
per million (ppm) or Milligrams per liter (mg/l) - One
part per million corresponds to one minute in two years or a single
penny in $10,000.
per billion (ppb) or Micrograms per liter - One part per
billion corresponds to one minute in 2,000 years, or a single penny in
Technique (TT) - A treatment technique is a required
process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water.
- The "Maximum Allowed" (MCL) is the highest level of a contaminant
that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to the MCLGs
as feasible using the best available treatment technology.
Contaminant Level Goal
- The "Goal" (MCLG) is the level of a contaminant in the drinking water
table (shown below), at which there is no known or expected risk to
health. MCLGs allow for a margin of safety.
Residual Disinfectant Level
- (MRDL) Maximum residual disinfectant level. The highest level of a
disinfectant allowed in drinking water. There is convincing evidence
that addition of a dis- infectant is necessary for con- trol of
Terminology used in this report is what is generally accepted as a means of measurement of the degree of contaminants in the water.
Contaminants include naturally occurring items in the water such as minerals and foreign matter that may or may not be acceptable based on the level detected.
One time 10%
applied 10 days after end of quarter
1 April 1
A 10% finance charge is
assessed 10 days after the quarter for unpaid bills.
We will be flushing community fire hydrants the week of September 17-21, 2012
starting at 9:00 a.m. This
the water to be discolored
disturbing the sediment and deposits in the pipes.
This sediment is naturally occurring minerals
in the water. Discolored
water poses no health hazard. It
is free from harmful bacteria and safe for all household uses, such as
showering, cooking, flushing of toilets, etc. You can drink the
water, but it may taste different. However, you should NOT
clothes in your washing machine if the water is discolored as clothing
your water lines
though an outside hose bib to clear up the discoloration.
There are exciting things going on this summer, but as always, not without
associated challenges. We have been approved for a Maryland Department of the
Environment green grant and loan to install meters at each member's home. This
will allow us to finally begin billing for water used each month by each member,
which is the only fair system. We plan to bill a flat minimum charge for usage under
a certain minimum number of gallons, with escalating charges for those using more.
The billing for water usage as noted will be monthly based on water used, not in
advance by the quarter as it is presently. The water rates have not been set at this
time. We do not have a good feel for what volumes of water used would cause
excess charges, or what to charge for that usage, since without meters, we have no
individual member data to base charges on. As a result, there will be a "test" period
of meter readings and charges based on known assumptions of gross volumes
pumped, which could change based on financial need. The current flat rates are
based on simply covering our costs, with some excess revenue to cover capital costs.
The Board of Directors is responsible for sustaining the financial health of the
cooperative to maintain the continuance of Beaches Water, so it must continue to set
charges sufficient to do just that. That means in the short term that we must raise
rates by $5 per quarter until we begin metered charges.
The next challenge is that only 204 homes have meter pits currently installed, with
almost 600 more to go. In many cases, we do not know where the cutoffs are, or for
some houses, even if there is one. All of those must be located, and since some of the
lines in the ground were placed there in 1939, there is no record of where they are.
Some members have paved over their shutoff valves, or modified their landscaping
in such a way that we will face difficulties installing a new meter pit in place of the
existing cutoff. We simply have to work through each situation, and we must ask that
you be patient during this construction phase. We will address each difficulty as it
comes up, and will work with our members to ultimately take care of those issues.
Despite that, the 204 meter pits which have been installed were completed without
serious incident. The faster we are able to make the installations, the faster we will
be able to get into the new billing system.
One other issue associated with meter installation was mentioned in our 2009
newsletter: Backflow preventers are required by the plumbing code to prevent
contamination of our water supply, so that no water can be drawn back into the
system from a member's home. The new meters will incorporate that backflow
prevention feature as required by the plumbing code, but that also requires an
expansion tank in each member's home, in the hot water line, usually at the water
heater. The reason is that water heated in your home system cannot be allowed to
expand back into the supply line, so to allow that expansion to occur without
damaging your piping, the tank is installed to give the excess water a place to go.
We are getting in touch with various plumbers to get a feel for estimated charges for
the installation, though each member must make their own decision as to choices of
plumbers. Though this may be done at any time prior to meter installation, we
recommend that each member do that work now to be sure the expansion tank is in
place before it is needed. That installation is the responsibility of each member, and
the Beaches Water Cooperative cannot be responsible for any work or damage inside
One Reminder: thanks to Dennis and the Board, we installed a generator at the Slater
Plant some years ago, allowing us to pump water into the system even with the
power out. Please remember that this is an emergency system intended to supply
water for basic necessities only. After Hurricane Irene last August, many people
washed down their houses and driveways to clean up, when we were still on
emergency backup, and we understand that was an incredible mess. However, please
be aware that if our power is off, we must all conserve water for minimal uses in our
homes until power is restored, since only one pumping station is on line in that
Thank you and we hope to see you in September at the annual meeting.
Gary Clarke, President
the Beaches Water Cooperative's Annual Meeting
September 9, 2012
Long Beach Civic
Center on Calvert Blvd
The operation and maintenance of the Beaches Water Co-Operative continues to be a
challenging task. Whereas in the past, the age and design of the system presented
their own unique set of circumstances, today we are faced with increases in material
and energy costs as well as regulations. Take for example the January 13, 2012 -
Maryland lead-free brass rule that pushed up the material costs of all our brass fitting
~ 25%. As with everyone else, we are doing more with less and making the best
economic decisions with the future in mind. We have seized every opportunity we
can to find low cost solutions to our issues. As many of you know just employing a
repair strategy of installing meter pits without the meters when working on a house
service has enabled us to install over 200 meter pits at a small incremental cost of the
repair costs. Now that we are getting a green grant and loan to finish that work, we
expect our total project costs will be less. At the same time the contractor installs the
other 600 meter pits, the first 200 meters will go into the existing meter pits. This
will allow us to start reading those meters immediately, to gain experience in the
community's water consumption, and with our new processes. We will also use this
contract project to make improvements to our system as related to the meter project.
Another opportunity we capitalized on this past year was a replacement of one of our
pneumatic tanks and upgrade at the Rausch Pumping Station on Balsam Street. We
had a ~25 year old, 1,000 gallon tank that had developed pinhole leaks and was not
repairable. In addition, this tank was undersized for our needs today. While a new
1,000 tank with a primer paint cost upwards to $12,000 we located two like-new
20,000 gallon tanks which were recently removed from an indoor municipal water
system and purchased them with full epoxy coating for $14,000 each. For the
replacement of the 1,000 gallon tank we have increased the size by 20 and the 2nd
tank will add another 20,000 gallons of storage at our new Flag Ponds booster
New 20,000 gallon tank and renovated Rausch pump house on Balsam Street.
As always, I would like to take a moment to say thanks to the many of you who
show your appreciation of the guys working in the field. This physically demanding
hard work takes a discipline for working under less than ideal conditions. You are
the ones who truly make this a community owned water system.
Under our current flat rate system, setting water rates is fairly simple. We have
expected costs from maintenance, capital expenses (building the system), electricity,
and many more costs, as well as an expected number of customers. We simply take
our expected outlays and our number of customers, and divide, the first number by
the second to estimate our annual rate (we bill quarterly). Everyone pays the same
for water service regardless of their usage. We charge for an extra quarter of water
for pools, and have some other minor sources of income, but these are also relatively
For informational purposes, our 2011-2012 budget is $331,300, and we serve exactly
800 houses (however, at this time there are a few on temporary shutoff). In 2011, we
pumped approximately 55 million gallons of water.
We are engaged in a project to equip all the water customers in the water system with
water meters, which we expect to complete sometime in the current year. At some
time shortly thereafter, we will begin billing for water based on usage. At this point,
we do not know precisely what form that rate structure will take; however, we intend
to be guided by the following goals:
- At zero water usage there will be some monthly fee for being connected to the system and being able to draw water if needed.
- At low rates of water use, up to probably somewhat above the median usage, water will be charged at a relatively low rate per thousand gallons. This, combined with the base rate will cover our costs of providing the water.
- At water usages above the break point mentioned above, we will increase the cost of additional water to encourage conservation, and to make above average users pay for the costs of providing additional water above the norm.
We will not be able to determine the rate schedule structure exactly until we have
installed the meters and measured the usage patterns of a large cross section of our
customer base. Once the meters are completely installed we will use results from the
meters to estimate a rate structure that will recover our costs. It will be a bit of an
estimate, and because paying for metered water will likely affect consumption
patterns, we will need to reexamine those rates and adjust them (as we do annually in
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 feet 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.
Calvert County Plumbing Code requires
homes to have a thermal expansion tank on
their water heater. With the advent of meter
pits which contain back-flow prevention
these devices become even more important.
If you do not have an expansion tank,
please contact your local plumber to
have one installed. When water is heated
in a closed system it expands. Water is not
compressible; therefore, the additional water
volume created has to go someplace. When
an expansion tank is installed the excess water enters the pre-pressurized tank (figure
1). As the temperature and pressure reaches its maximum, the diaphragm flexes
against an air cushion (air is compressible) to allow for increased water expansion
(figure 2). When the system is opened again or the water cools, the water leaves the
tank and returns to the system.
During the 2012 legislative session, House Bill 446 doubled the BRF fee for most
users served by wastewater treatment plants and those on septic systems from $2.50
to $5.00 per month per household/EDU. As a result of this increase, BWC will
include the increased rate of $15.00 per quarter on the July 1, 2012 billing.
Our drinking water is safe and meets all federal and state requirements for
community drinking water. In 2011, there were no water quality violations.
Our water quality results are based on the monitoring cycle for the contaminant up to
December 31st, 2011. 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.
||Likely Source of Contamination
|Total Coliform Bacteria
||> 5% samples
||Naturally present in the environment
||Fire retardants; ceramics; electronics; solder
|Di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (ppb)
||Discharge from rubber & chemical factories
||Drinking water disinfection byproduct
||Corrosion of galvanized pipes; erosion of natural deposits; runoff from waste batteries and paints
||Drinking water disinfection byproduct
||Erosion of natural deposits
||Natural deposits; corrosion of household piping
|Iron - (mg/L)
|Fluoride - (mg/L)
||Erosion of natural deposits; Leaching
|Sodium - (mg/L)
||Natural deposits; Leaching
|Total Trihalomethanes (mg/L)
||Drinking water disinfection byproduct
|Total Dissolved Solids (mg/L)
|Gross Alpha (pCi/L)
||Erosion of natural deposits
|Gross Beta (pCi/L)
||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
The following chart is a breakdown of the budget
for the fiscal year 7/1/12 - 6/30/13.
|BWC FY 2012/13 BUDGET
|Pool water service
|Application & Transfer Fees
|BWC FY 2012/13 BUDGET
|Bank Service Charges
|Mortgage Pay Down
|Licenses and Permits
|Office - Other
|Repairs & Maintenance
|Solid Waste Fee & BRF
are now accepting VISA and Mastercard payments.
You may come by
the office to make payment, pay over the phone,
or include credit card billing information on your
Please submit all questions and comments