Earthquake-Affected Va. Residents Still Must Boil Water

Boil water notice for Fauquier County town

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Some residents in one Fauquier County town are still without potable water because of the East Coast Quake. (Published Wednesday, Feb 15, 2012)

    On August 23, the East Coast shook with a 5.8 magnitude earthquake centered in Mineral, Virginia.

    Since then, millions in disaster aid funds have been spent cleaning up after the natural disaster.

    But some residents in one Fauquier County town are still without a basic service: potable tap water.

    Residents in Bealeton have told News4 that water out of the tap has been unsafe to drink since the quake hit last summer.  The earthquake damaged one of the wells in the town's water system, and a permanent fix has yet to be put in place.

    According to the Fauquier Water and Sanitation Authority, 1,304 customers were affected when part of the seal on the Mintbrook well, part of Bealeton's water system, was damaged during the quake.  The well sits in the middle of a cow pasture, and the damage has allowed rainwater to seep down from the surface down into the well.

    In October, the Water and Sanitation Authority sent out a notice to customers warning them of elevated levels of coliform bacteria and e. coli in the water.  Residents were advised then to boil their water to keep from getting sick.  The notice said that a fix would be in place by November.

    But those early efforts were unsuccessful, and the affected residents are still under a boil water notice.  WSA told News4 that since then, a new well has been dug.  In the latest notice, residents were told the new water system will be online by the end of March.

    But WSA says if the well passes health inspections, it could be operational sooner.

    Meanwhile, 1,304 customers will be getting an apology of sorts in their next water bill - a credit for 1,000 gallons of water, equivalent to about a third of the average water bill.