john ross

Worcester County Deputy Director of Public Works John Ross presented several water and wastewater projects during the commissioners meeting this week.

(April 19, 2019) The Worcester County Commissioners approved a number of water and wastewater projects Tuesday after presentations by Deputy Director of Public Works John Ross.

Sunset Village Service Area

Ross said the Sunset Village Service Area was established by resolution in February 1989 to provide potable water to the housing subdivision on the corner of Route 611 and Sunset Avenue in West Ocean City.

“We are proposing to dissolve the Sunset Village Service Area,” he said.

In 2003, the Sunset Village Service Area obtained funding to connect to the Mystic Harbour water system.

“For the past 16 years, we’ve been providing them water from Mystic Harbour,” he said. “The [Sunset Village] Service Area was originally created because they did provide their own water.”

Ross said in August 2017 the debt incurred to connect Sunset Village with the Mystic Harbour water system was paid in full.

“We’re at the point where we believe the service area is no longer needed,” he said.

The connection provides potable water for 84 equivalent dwelling units serving the Sunset Village community.

The commissioners voted unanimously to approve the resolution to dissolve the service area.

Frontier Town pump station

Ross said the pump station and force main project is nearly completed at Frontier Town in West Ocean City.

“We have had final inspection,” he said.

Testing has confirmed the wastewater connection from Frontier Town is flowing properly, Ross said.

Ross recommended the commissioners approve accepting the facilities into the county wastewater system.

“We actually do have a deed for the pump station site and we are ready to take over operation of the facility,” he said.

Ross said the required turnover documentation to finalize transfer of ownership has been provided and includes the deed, bill of sale and assignment, along with releases from individual contractors associated with the project.

The final detail involves obtaining approval for a small land easement from the Maryland Department of the Environment to provide access to the pump station, Ross said.

Commissioner Chip Bertino made a motion to accept the turnover documents with the transfer of ownership contingent on MDE easement approval.

“They are fairly anxious to get us to do this because the campground is proposed to be full next weekend over Easter,” he said.

Edgewater Acres water service

Ross also presented a proposal to dispose of the long-neglected water plant building in the Edgewater Acres/Nantucket Point Sanitary Service Area, along with a new perpetual service agreement with the Artesian Water Company.

Ross said potential changes to the sanitary service area were discussed during a commissioners’ meeting in early February.

“We had a water plant on the property of Edgewater Acres Sanitary Service Area,” he said. “The concern we had is the water plant hasn’t been run in 16-17 years.”

Before 2002, when Edgewater Acres began purchasing water from the Delaware-based Artesian Water Company, the county operated a small water treatment plant at 13491 Madison Avenue.

Ross said there were concerns regarding the previous agreement with Artesian Water, with contract terms set at five years, which would automatically renew a handful of times.

“Ultimately, it said after 25 years we would have to negotiate a new agreement,” he said.

To address the renewal issue, Ross said a new standard service agreement was negotiated with Artesian Water.

“We would no longer have a five-year renewal ... it would just be perpetual, and we would become a standard customer,” he said. “They take care of the meter pit and we take care of everything past the meter pit.”

The commissioners voted unanimously to approve the service agreement with Artesian Water and moving forward with disposing of the water plant building.

West OC sewer cleaning bid

The commissioners also approved a bid recommendation from Ross to clean and inspect sewer lines in the West Ocean City Service area.

Ross noted the bid request solicited a strong response, with seven project bids received by the April 8 deadline for submissions.

Ross said the low bidder was Clark Environmental Services from Delmar at $3,360, who he said performed comparable work for the county in 2017.

“They were the successful bidder two years ago,” he said. “They did exactly the same kind of work and did a good job.”

The upcoming project involves light cleaning and scoping roughly 14,000 linear feet of eight-inch diameter sanitary sewer pipe with a camera to inspect for problem areas.

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