Water & Sewer
Water & Sewer Department Responsibilities
Poolesville's Water and Sewer Department consists of a Superintendent and 4 other State licensed operators. Operators maintain 12 wells and treatment equipment, 5 sewage pump stations, 2 storage tanks and over 18 miles of water and sewer lines. Daily operations include water testing and data collection. Many samples are sent to certified laboratories and results forwarded to the Maryland Department of the Environment who also test and monitor the water system.
Operators also perform emergency response for mainline sewer clogs and water main breaks.
Poolesville uses an average of 500,000 gallons per day of drinking water.
Water Quality Reports
Poolesville delivers a safe and reliable water supply to approximately 5,400 residents and several businesses. All municipalities are required by law to provide an annual Water Quality Report. This report includes details about where your water comes from, what it contains, and how it compares to standards set by regulatory agencies.
Most Recent Water Quality Report | View All Water Quality Reports
Water System Overview
The following is an overview of the Town water source and water system. A detailed explanation of the Town water source and the Town water system can be found in Appendix A of the Town Master Plan.
Well System Evaluation Reports
2022 Water Supply Evaluation Report
Poolesville Water Source
Poolesville relies entirely upon groundwater to supply residents and businesses. Water is withdrawn from twelve wells located throughout Town. State permits allow an annual average daily
withdrawal of 650,000 gallons per day (GPD) and a maximum monthly average of 910,000 GPD. These wells are drilled from 285 to 800 feet deep into the New Oxford Formation Aquifer. Groundwater is derived from rainwater, creek and riverbed percolation. As the water travels downward through the soils, many of the impurities are removed. This results in water that is usually clean enough to drink without any treatment. Our groundwater quality is very good and requires chlorine treatment, as mandated by the Safe Water Drinking Act. In comparison, surface water as found in most municipalities around us, must contend with pollution, algae blooms and wastewater discharges from upstream users.
The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) issues all Water Appropriation Permits for municipal systems. Permits are issued for each watershed and the available withdrawal is based upon the recharge area of the watershed within the Town boundaries. Poolesville consists of four watersheds: Horsepen Branch, Broad Run, Dry Seneca Creek and Russell Branch. Each watershed is relatively isolated from the other watersheds in terms of water recharge and water usage. This means that a problem (i.e. contamination) of the wells in one watershed will not impact wells in another watershed.
How does our water system work?
Poolesville's water system has a loop network topology. All the wells are connected to one central water distribution system. Water from all active wells is used to fill/pressurize the entire system and a given home/business draws water from this central system, as opposed to a given well providing water to a specific area of town.
The system consists of about eighteen miles of ductile iron water pipe and two storage tanks. A 500,000-gallon elevated storage tank is located near the High School and a 1,000,000-gallon standpipe is located in the Woods of Tama.
The operation of our system is based on the water level in the water tanks, which provide the water pressure for your home. When the water level in the tanks drops to a preset elevation, all active wells are automatically turned on. The wells pump water into our distribution pipes and to the water tanks. Once the water tanks are full, the wells shut down. This process takes about 8 to 12 hours depending on the actual use during the filling process. Many residents have wells located near their homes, but for the most part, everyone receives a blended mix of water from each of the wells.
Water Source/System Resiliency
Poolesville maintains multiple levels of redundancy in its water supply:
- There are four distinct watersheds that provide water to the system. If a watershed becomes unusable for some reason, the other watersheds will still be available.
- The number of wells in the system provide more water than is required to supply all town needs at any one time. The Town is committed to maintaining enough wells to ensure that sufficient safe water is available even if several wells are offline for whatever reason.
- If absolutely necessary, some wells can be pumped at a greater capacity for a short duration (several days to weeks).