Residents of Torrey seeking new water district

The Town of Torrey is petitioning to create a water district within the confines of the municipality. The move comes amid concerns about a solid water source for those living in the Town of Torrey, who otherwise have very inconsistent, private service, which they are ultimately responsible for — and must maintain themselves. A proposal has been submitted by George Thompson, to ultimately address this problem and see what can be done at the state level for funding solutions. Whether they are grants or the money comes from another source — residents of Torrey believe that it needs to happen soon.Water district proposals such as this require that more than 51% of the total residents owning property, worth over 51% of the total assessed property values approve any new districts. The problem now is that residents are being forced to rely on private water sources that aren’t reliable. Furthermore, businesses like the five wineries within the proposed water district are having to go to great lengths to ensure they have water to operate.For residents, the concerns that are had with the current system — or lack thereof, were highlighted in the statement:“A well that does not produce enough capacity causing having a holding tank. Hard water. Sulphur water. Methane gas in well water. Shale sludge. Appliance destroying calcium deposits. Orange iron bacteria jelly in the bottom of hot water tank. Water that doesn’t taste good necessitating the purchase of bottled water. Going to town to do laundry. Having celebrations elsewhere because the system can’t handle the toilet flushes of a family gathering. Lack of a nearby fire hydrant in case of fire. Higher insurance premiums. Going, out of necessity, to a lake surface water system. Having a complicated system, with very expensive repairs when something breaks down. A lake system that requires a diver, a 220v electric line running a submersible pump way out in the lake, pipes vulnerable to freezing, damage by boat anchors, zebra muscles, a chlorine injector pump, a high intensity ultraviolet germ killing light bulb, a water softener, filters needing frequent replacement when the wind or a big rainstorm churns up silt from upland runoff. A water test identifying a blue green algae bloom in the water off Serenity Road last summer.”Some have even resorted to having water trucked in to these locations. The cost of the project is something that would be the biggest challenge. The report reads in part, regarding the cost:“Annual debt service for borrowing net project cost of $1,103,000 at 3.25 percent interest for 38 years would be a huge burden at $729 per year to approximately 70 equivalent dwelling units. This cost could understandably be a big fly in the ointment in convincing 51 percent to sign on.”For more information on this proposed project, details are available at townoftorrey.org. The fear remains now though that the cost could move past $100 a month — and this is precisely why state funding is being sought out to resolve this water district issue.

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