Town Manager's Blog

A perspective on goings on in and around Poolesville by Town Manager Wade Yost.

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Nov 06

How does our water system work?

Posted on November 6, 2014 at 2:21 PM by Charles Stump

We frequently receive questions about how the town water system works.

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 Water is withdrawn from twelve wells located throughout Town.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 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 twelve 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.

Wade Yost,
Town Manager