After three full days without running water last week, the Town of Hillsboro’s 28 water customers once again were able to wash their hands, cook and clean last Friday.
Mayor Roger Vance said repairs to the town’s six-decade-old water main, which broke in sections last Tuesday and left all water users without water, went “very well.” He noted the repair is a temporary fix and that the water main will be entirely replaced during work on the $3.2 million water project.
“Everything worked out fine,” he said.
According to Vance and Vice Mayor Amy Marasco, water users had planned to be without service last week and had stocked up on bottled water. Marasco said the town previously advised the users their water would be temporarily shut off as work on the water main commenced. She said town leaders delivered six gallons of bottled water to those customers before the water main broke, and another 6-12 gallons after. Vance also encouraged the residents to fill their bathtubs in preparation of the work last week.
But the expectation prior to the water main break was that water flow would be off for hours, not days, as the distribution system was to be connected to a newly constructed main coming from the town well.
During last week’s repairs, town leaders relieved water users by filling up and handing out buckets and bottles of non-potable water at the Old Stone School. They also delivered each of those affected residents a large cheese pizza from Andy’s Pizza & Subs in Lovettsville and a bottle of local wine last Friday.
The town is also providing water users with financial relief by not collecting on their March water bills. In response to the coronavirus crisis, the town has also resolved to not charge late fees or interest on future water bill non-payments until the town’s state of local emergency is lifted.
This week, Vance said the town expects Shirley Contracting crews to bring the new well—located on the southern side of Rt. 9—online this week, by running it up Short Hill Mountain to the town’s water treatment plant. He said the existing well atop the hill would continue to provide water to the system, but at a much less capacity than the new well.
Vance said town leaders are unsure if the new connection will take the town off its 25-year-old boil water notice—a decision the Virginia Department of Health will make.
“It’s going to be a big deal,” Vance said about the new connection.
Town leaders are hopeful the water project will wrap up this year.