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June 26, 2015 

Water Quality Questions

Some terms defined:

I. President’s Corner

I can tell you that the meter pit installations have been stressful for everyone involved, including you, our members, but we are nearing the end of that process. We underestimated the number of curb stops that could not be found or did not exist, the water lines that were installed 80 years ago in a somewhat haphazard and indirect manner, water lines which had been paved over, and the curb stops which had been dug up and discarded. We have only the most difficult installations remaining, but are methodically completing the job at hand, regardless of those difficulties.

We were approved for the Green Grant and Loan by the Maryland Department of the Environment on behalf of EPA on the basis that we would be able to conserve water by tying the charges for that water directly to the amount of water used by each household, and will pay back only half of what we spend. I have mentioned frequently that fairness is important to us all, and that we will be setting up a monthly billing cycle and rates which encourage conservation but are as fair to every community member as we can make them. We cannot start billing on that basis until every meter pit is installed and verified, and every meter installed in those pits is correctly tied to the address and the member who lives there. We had hoped to complete the project in such a timely manner that we would have sufficient time to query the meters over a period of time and gather data sufficient to establish at least some tentative rates. That will not occur as planned, so our old quarterly billing cycle will be maintained until we do have the quantity of data necessary to begin charging on the basis of metered gallons. July 1 is the start of our fiscal year, so expect to receive a bill July 1 for the next quarter of water usage as in the past. We will query the meters on a regular basis to establish the monthly rate schedule which will be in place for the future.

Some things to remember: as a not-for-profit cooperative, we must charge an amount sufficient to ensure that the Beaches Water Cooperative will be financially viable and will continue to supply our community with clean water far into the future. Our budget has been fairly simple for that reason: how much will it cost to run the Cooperative for a year? Divide that amount by 800, and that is what each member's annual obligation is, plus charges which go to the state for the Bay Restoration Fund. Under the new metered system, there will be, as now, people who are single, don't live here full time, have a small family, a large family, a rental property, installed underground sprinklers to keep the lawn and shrubbery green, and our task is to have each of those types of members pay their fair share in an amount which keeps Beaches Water Cooperative operating for years to come.

Please plan to attend our annual meeting on September 13 at 3:00 pm at the Long Beach Civic Association building on Calvert Boulevard. We are one Director short of a full complement and need a volunteer to join the Board, and will hold an election for two of our current Board members whose terms expire in September this year. We also need to modify the BWC By-Laws to correct typos and no-longer relevant verbiage, and to accommodate changes due to the meter project. We hope to see you at the meeting.

Gary Clarke, President

Announcing the Beaches Water Cooperative's Annual Meeting
Date: September 13, 2015       Time: 3:00 pm
Location: Long Beach Civic Center on Calvert Blvd

II. Water System Operations, Maintenance & Improvements

Progress on the meter project has reached the point where what is left are the hard-to-install and the unknown locations. We have relied on folks' memories, used fancy locating equipment, done exploratory digs and in some cases still not found some of the water lines. The good news is that we are making slow progress and have found many of these "lost" valve boxes and more importantly solved complications. These last few installations have slowed the project from a higher speed production.

Ground Penetrating Radar Graphic
Coupling that with our earlier contracting issue, we have decided to delay full implementation until the Fall billing cycle. That allows time to work through these final few and also to get the meter reading and billing software in place. Wireless meter reading is a simple process of driving through the community and pinging the meters for a reading. It can be done from a vehicle or locally at a location. Reading signals can occur from 1/4 mile away with a battery life rated to be 10 years. The purpose of this "green" grant is that from the meter readings we will have the data to manage water leaks in the water system which includes providing you with water usage for your own usage and leakage issues. One item that has been a real asset for the meter project has been the Flag Ponds storage building and shop. When the meter pits are delivered, they come on a large delivery truck in double stacked bundles of 10 and must be unloaded with a forklift. The Flag Ponds lay down area provides the room needed and the shop for unpacking and setting up the pits for meters.
Ground Penetrating Radar Graphic
Also at the Flags Ponds location we now have a replacement well for the one that failed at Jorgenson Pumping Station. The water is pumped down the hill from Flag Ponds to Jorgenson on Locust Street to be treated and enter the system. We are preparing engineering to add treatment right at Flag Ponds which is one of the highest elevations in the community. One of our operation improvements this year was to replace booster pumps at Slater and Jorgenson Pumping Stations. We have converted to basic single stage impeller pumps from the complicated multi-stage impeller pumps. The single stage has a larger metal impeller and the multistage have 7 smaller plastic impellers. They call these "can" pumps as they resemble a can shape. They use multiple-stages to boost the pressure but also have a tendency to run hot and damage the plastic impeller. The single-stage pumps are less costly and more reliable.

As if the work on the meter project is not enough, we continue to have leaks on the old system piping and due to disturbing the piping during the meter project, more leaks there too. We have been challenged with the loss of personnel. Many of you recognize our Mr. Kenny Grover as the face in the field and on the backhoe. He has had some ill health and not been able to work for the last few months and more months to come. We also have had a tremendous increase in Miss Utility calls which take up time away from work. We will get through all of this and get these meters installed and the reading and billing operational. Please be patient with our ability to respond to your needs as quickly as you and we would like to. The meters will put us in a better position to account for water usage. Along the way we are solving many long standing issues. One last word is that what is inside these meter pits is specialized electronic equipment and should not be touched by anyone other than water company personnel. Opening meter pits by any other personnel is a violation of State law and repairs can be costly. Home owners and their plumbers should use the house isolation valve for any shut-offs or call us to come out and shut the water off. Again, we recognize this is an impact on everyone and we ask for your patience as we work through what has to be done. Thank you for your consideration.


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 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 2014, there were no water quality violations. Our water quality results are based on the monitoring cycle for the contaminant up to December 31st, 2014. The amount of contaminants in our drinking water is well below levels set by the Environmental Protection Agency in categories as shown. 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
Unregulated Contaminants          
Bromodichloromethane (ug/L) n/a n/a 1.1 NO Drinking water disinfection byproduct
DiBromodichloromethane (ug/L) n/a n/a 0.6 NO Drinking water disinfection byproduct
Chloroform (ug/L) n/a n/a 1.5 NO Drinking water disinfection byproduct
Iron - (mg/L) -- -- 0.14 NO Natural deposits
Nickel (mg/L)     0.013 NO Natural deposits; Leaching
Sodium - (mg/L) -- -- 7.3 NO Natural deposits; Leaching
Regulated Contaminants          
Total Coliform Bacteria 0 > 5% samples 0 NO Naturally present in the environment
Arsenic (ppb)
RRA Range
0 10 7.5
NO Natural deposits; Corrosion of household piping
Copper (mg/L) 1.3 1.3 0.32 NO Natural deposits; corrosion of household piping
Lead (ug/L) 0 15 0 NO corrosion of household piping
Haloacetic Acids (ug/L) n/a 60 0 No Drinking water disinfection byproduct
Fluoride - (mg/L) 4.0 4.0 0.3 NO Erosion of natural deposits; Leaching
Total Trihalomethanes (ug/L) n/a 80 3 NO Drinking water disinfection byproduct
Gross Alpha (pCi/L) 0 15 < 2.0 NO Erosion of natural deposits
Gross Alpha (pCi/L) short term 0 15 14.2 NO Erosion of natural deposits
Gross Beta (pCi/L) Range 0 50 16.8
NO Erosion of natural deposits
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.

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 7/1/15 - 6/30/16.

Water service 346,280
Office Rent 1,200
Advertising-Quarterly 1,500
Application & Transfer Fees 5,000
Total Income $353,980
Auditing 9,500
Bad Debt 1,030
Bank Service Charges 1,500
Depreciation Expense 27,617
Professional Memberships 500
Engineering 1,500
Insurance 12,254
Loan Interest 250
Mortgage Pay Down 20,407
Mortgage Interest 9,812
Legal 438
Licenses and Permits 250
Office - Other 12,000
Operating Supplies 18,000
Repairs & Maintenance 16,000
Routine Service 181,447
Solid Waste Fee & BRF 50
Utilities 36,725
Water Testing 4,600
Total Expense $353,980
  VISA and Mastercard:
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