Why we have water restrictions
HomeMake a Payment / Customer Portal About Us Contact Us People Rules & By-Laws Newsletters / CCRs Water Meters
Beaches Water Co-operative Logo
June 24, 2014 

Water Quality Questions

Some terms defined:

I. President’s Corner

It has been a difficult but exciting year for Beaches Water Cooperative. We have expended most of our efforts toward complying with all the requirements of the EPA/MDE grant and loan for which we qualified. We were unable to afford the initial proposal bids, but persevered, and with MDE input and ingenuity, combined with hard work, found a way to save some money and still get what we needed to install meters in the entire system. At this point, pending a few more approvals, signing a lot of paperwork, and more paperwork, plus a review by the Board of Public Works, we hope to be able to start construction in late summer or early fall.

Please do not forget that the new meters are required to incorporate a backflow preventer to stop flows of contaminates back into our system. As we have mentioned several times, this can result in increased pressures within your home's piping as colder water is heated by your hot water heater, especially if you are not using much water. The answer, to avoid any issues, is installation of a small expansion tank to handle any excess water. Please consult previous newsletters or our web site, for a diagram and further information. We recently had a well failure at the Jorgensen Plant, and were unable to "rejuvenate" the well. We used some of our emergency fund and capital money to drill a well at the new building location at the top of Locust Street. As part of that installation, we will be required to physically abandon the old well. The piping and equipment are going in place to give us a water source at this much higher elevation in the system, which will, as planned, provide higher water pressure in those higher elevations, which in the past suffered low pressure whenever there was high usage or any equipment failure. The new well combined with the 20,000 gallon tank we have already installed will provide increased storage capacity as well as improved pressure control. We have had numerous booster pump and piping failures in the past, mostly caused by the forces involved as these large pumps stop and start. We are installing solid state controllers at the new Flag Ponds location and hope to eventually install these controllers throughout the system. This allows a gentle start and stop as needed to reduce strain on the piping and pumps. It will also save electricity costs, since pump speed and system pressures will be more constant, and use only what is required. There are rebates associated with these installations, so we will save money all around, for a relatively modest investment.

Outside Meter Installation

The nature of a system-wide installation of water meters in the supply lines of 800 homes cannot be completed without issues. Let me say again that we will make every effort to keep members informed when we will install meters in their neighborhood, and though there will be problems, we will also commit to addressing them all in as timely a fashion as is possible. The technicians for Beaches Water Cooperative installed 240 meter pits with minimal disturbance and few issues, and they will ensure that the new installations go in with as few problems as possible. I do ask that you please be patient. The installations will be done by having an excavation contractor dig the openings for the meter pits, a plumbing crew then installing and hooking up the piping to the new meter, and then a crew closing the installations and putting in seed and straw or whatever is required to put the area back to as close to its original condition as possible. We have located mains and supply lines, but many older houses never had a shutoff valve in place, the valves were located at the foundation of the home, or later homeowners paved the cutoff under a new driveway. We will do everything we can to minimize disruption and inconvenience to our members during this huge project. Our final step will be to test all of the meters and begin working on a scale of rates for water usage which is as fair as possible. The Board of Directors is charged with maintaining the fiscal stability of the Cooperative, and charging members for: 1. Being hooked up to the system and having a reliable source of clean water, and 2. Paying their fair share of the costs of the company by paying for what they use. We are still, and will remain, a not-for-profit cooperative owned by its members. We obtained this grant and loan as part of a Green Initiative for water conservation, and paying based on your usage while still recovering the costs of operations is as fair as we can make it.

Gary Clarke, President

Announcing the Beaches Water Cooperative's Annual Meeting
Date: September 14, 2014       Time: 3:00 pm
Location: Long Beach Civic Center on Calvert Blvd

II. Water System Operations, Maintenance & Improvements

Ground Penetrating Radar Graphic

We continue our focus of preparing for the upcoming Water Meter Installation Project by making improvements where we can and by doing 100% locates of everyone's water service line. If we have found your shutoff, the cap will be freshly painted blue and a blue mark on the road as well. For the unknown locations, we rented a "ground penetrating radar" to mark apparent locations of the underground service pipes. We placed blue painted stakes in the yards at those points. Please do not remove these stakes as it cost us hundreds of dollars per day to rent the radar equipment.

We were in the process of completing the setup for the Booster Pumping Station at the Flag Pond Storage Building when the well failed at Jorgensen Pumping Station. The strategic plan for Flag Ponds was to eventually have a well at that location so that plan was accelerated. The new well is now in place and will feed "raw" water to Jorgensen Pumping Station until we have approval for the making the booster pumping station a full operating pumping station with chlorine water treatment. This well failure became an opportunity to improve the operation and the maintenance of the system reliability. The Flag Ponds location is one of the highest in the community and we will eventually feed-in and control pressure at this point. This is a solution to some of our low water pressure and flow issues and gives us more fire hydrant service in the area and more flow for other areas.

We have had our usual share of water leaks as well in this last year. Please give us a call if you see water in your yard or in the road. We fix these as fast as we can but sometimes if it is in the road we will bore a new line instead of cutting asphalt.

Thanks again, 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. We have a great dedicated field and office team!


Dennis DiBello, Business Manager and Superintendent

III. Rules and Bylaws

Looking back, everyone should be aware that Beaches Water Company is a community owned not-for-profit community water system. Community members came together in 1982 to form Beaches Water Company, Inc. when Calvert County issued a building moratorium in the community due to unreliable water service.

BWC is governed by established Rules and By-Laws and administered by a Board of Directors (BOD). These directors are elected from and by the community they serve. BWC's mission is to provide dependable and economical water service which meets or exceeds health standards for all co-operative members.

Beaches Water Co-operative services approximately 800 property owners in parts of Calvert Beach, Long Beach, Cherry Lane Farms, Kings Creek II, Calvert Beach Estates II, Long Beach Heights, and Flag Harbor Heights.

Property owners currently pay a flat charge on a quarterly basis for their water service. Once meters are installed then we will have metered service with a base rate and a usage charge.

BWC Rules and By-Laws are listed at

IV. Annual Water Quality & Consumer Confidence Report

Our drinking water is safe and meets all federal and state requirements for community drinking water. In 2013, there were no water quality violations. * Our water quality results are based on the monitoring cycle for the contaminant up to December 31st, 2013. 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
Di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (ppb) 0 6.0 1.1 NO Discharge from rubber & chemical factories
Arsenic (ppb)
RRA Range*
0 10 7.8
NO Natural deposits
Bromodichloromethane(ug/L) n/a n/a 1.1 NO Drinking water disinfection byproduct
Cadmium (mg/L) 0.005 0.005 0.0034 NO Corrosion of galvanized pipes; erosion of natural deposits; runoff from waste batteries and paints
Chloroform (ug/L) n/a 80 1.5 NO Drinking water disinfection byproduct
Copper (mg/L) 1.3 1.3 0.32 NO Natural deposits; corrosion of household piping
Haloacetic Acids (mg/L) n/a 0.060 0.0027   Drinking water disinfection byproduct
Iron - (mg/L) -- -- 0.14 NO Natural deposits
Fluoride - (mg/L) 4.0 4.0 0.325
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) -- -- 5.3 NO Natural deposits; Leaching
Total Trihalomethanes (mg/L) n/a 0.80 0.0037 NO Drinking water disinfection byproduct
Total Dissolved Solids (mg/L) 500 500 156 NO Natural deposits
Gross Alpha (pCi/L) 0 15 < 2.0 NO Erosion of natural deposits
Gross Alpha (pCi/L) short term 0 15 14.2   Erosion of natural deposits
Gross Beta (pCi/L) 0 50 16.8
NO Erosion of natural deposits
* NOTE: BWC's well water is extracted from the Najemoy and Aquia aquifers via 8 different wells at five pumping stations. Test values above represent samples at the wells and pump stations. The arsenic value is a running annual average (RAA) with the output of wells blended resulting in lower overall values.

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).

V. Financial

The following chart is a breakdown of the budget for the fiscal year 7/1/14 - 6/30/15.

Water service 344,080
Pool water service 4,400
Office Rent 1,200
Advertising-Quarterly 1,500
Application & Transfer Fees 5,000
Total Income $356,180
Auditing 9,500
Bad Debt 1,030
Bank Service Charges 940
Depreciation Expense 52,124
Professional Memberships 500
Engineering 1,500
Insurance 11,670
Loan Interest 250
Mortgage Pay Down 22,739
Mortgage Interest 12,039
Legal 438
Licenses and Permits 250
Office - Other 5,566
Operating Supplies 12,360
Repairs & Maintenance 26,119
Routine Service 157,780
Solid Waste Fee & BRF 50
Utilities 36,725
Water Testing 4,600
Total Expense $356,180
  VISA and Mastercard:
We are now accepting VISA and Mastercard payments.  You may come by
 the office to make payment, pay over the phone, via
 or include credit card billing information on your billing statement.


Please submit all questions and comments to