Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era
Mount Joy Twp. discusses public water survey
BY DEAN LEE EVANS, Correspondent
A majority of homeowners of the Cloverleaf Station development indicated in a recent survey that they favor keeping their private wells in lieu of public water service.
Township administrator Steve Gault on Feb. 18 revealed the results of the survey to the board of supervisors, saying its purpose was to gauge homeowner interest in public water before the township commits to a repaving project proposed next year.
The homes that were sent surveys included ones on Sheri Lane, Misty Drive and Rob Drive on the east side of Cloverleaf Road and north of the Norlanco Family Medicine building. All the houses have private on-site wells for water.
Gault said 40 out of about 65 homeowners responded to the survey.
"I was fairly pleased at the response rate," he said.
The survey asked homeowners questions related to water quality and quantity as well as their interest in paying for public water.
He said 29 respondents favored keeping their own private wells. Nine homeowners would be interested in public water service and two did not respond to the question.
Gault said residents offered "strongly worded comments."
"There were opinions on both sides," he said.
As far as water quality, 10 respondents had concerns while the remaining 30 did not. Twenty-five respondents said they drink their well water while 15 purchase bottled water.
"Some people said they would still purchase bottled water (if they were supplied by public water)," Gault said.
He said no one reported having their well going dry, and only four reported pressure issues.
One resident present Feb. 18 supported the installation of public water.
"I'm concerned if you don't install (public water) now, it will never happen," Frank Kerlin Jr. said.
Kerlin said with five members in his Sheri Lane household, water rationing -- such as when to run the clothes washer or when not to wash the car -- is a concern.
Kerline added that he does not drink his well water because a test several years ago revealed high nitrate levels.
Board member Gerald Becker questioned the ability to sell houses that contained poor water quality, saying he was aware of mortgages being denied as a result of well water issues.
The costs associated with connecting to public water also appeared to be a significant factor to residents in the development.
Gault said that with tapping fees of about $2,600 and other costs with running pipes from the public water connections, residents could be faced with having to spend as much as $4,500 to connect to public water.
The survey revealed that 29 respondents said they would not spend any money to connect to public water, six would spend up to $1,000, three up to $3,000 and two up to $5,000.
Board member Gerald Cole said that financial plans have been offered in the past to ease the impact of connecting to public water.
One option Gault suggested was that the township could move forward with installing the initial connections to the edge of the street so they would be available to residents that wish to connect in the future.
Gault said the township has time to discuss the matter further since it does not intend to repave the streets this year.