The private Greenridge Utilities water system that serves nearly 1,000 customers in the Fountain Green area just east of Bel Air is digging deeper wells to better meet customer demand, a company official said.
Greenridge Utilities has about 930 connections to homes in the Greenridge I and II communities along the east and west sides of Route 543 just south of Route 22, according to Tom Oakley, director of communications and public relations for its parent company, Utilities Inc., of Chicago.
“The well system was not designed to meet existing customer demand and we are therefore undertaking a project to deepen a few wells to increase well production,” Oakley explained in an email.
The Greenridge water system runs on 20 wells, three of which were deemed to be “best candidates” for remediation based on a hydrogeology study done earlier this year, Oakley said. While the depths of the wells vary, most are typically about 300 feet deep.
Of the three wells being enlarged, one will be drilled closer to 400 feet, one will be widened and one will be drilled deeper and widened, he said.
“All wells are being optimized via new controls for better performance,” he said.
According to its permit, Greenridge can draw up to 178,000 gallons of water per day, independent of how many connections it has to its system, Oakley said.
There have been times, however, Greenridge has used supply from a neighboring utility “when relying on our existing wells results in operational and service challenges,” Oakley said.
Greenridge is also connected to Harford County’s water system.
“Although we will not know the total increase in well production until project completion, nor is it a driver behind this project, there is potential to accommodate new connections,” he said.
Greenridge also owns an undeveloped well site which may be developed at some future date to ensure production meets future demand, should the quantity of future connections warrant it, Oakley said.
At the same time, the utility company is also building above ground water treatment stations with new electrical, controls, supply line piping and chemical feeds, Oakley said. They will replace the treatment stations that were below ground and needed rehabilitation.
While the quality of the raw water is not anticipated to change as a result of the deeper wells, the treatment process will be modified during the project, which should improve the quality of the finished water, Oakley said.
Greenridge customers should not expect a rate change in their water prices, he said.
“Customer rates are approved by the Maryland Public Service Commission; any proposed modifications will be reviewed by and require approval from them,” Oakley said. “Though we recognize these are prudent investments needed for the ongoing and future performance of the system, there is no timeline currently set for a proposed rate change.”
The project, which has been beset by rain delays, is expected to be finished by the end of November, he said.