Friday November 30, 2012

GUILFORD -- Guilford residents soon will be able to tap into a new pipeline connecting Algiers Village to Brattleboro's water system.

After a few equipment-related delays, the line is ready. Project engineer Brud Sanderson of Brattleboro-based Stevens & Associates said Thursday that he is preparing to notify both towns that construction and water tests are complete.

"They'll be able to turn on the water line and make it available," Sanderson said.

The line, which follows Route 5, brings Brattleboro's municipal water system into Guilford and was constructed with both private and public funding. Windham & Windsor Housing Trust is a contributor, as the pipe will serve the trust's residential properties in Algiers.

Earlier this year, Guilford voters approved borrowing up to $195,000 to build two line extensions that reach Guilford Volunteer Fire Department and Guilford Community Church, which also serves as the town's emergency shelter.

Selectboards in both towns have approved operational agreements: Guilford owns the line and handles billing, while Brattleboro supplies water and maintains the system.

Construction of the line itself happened quickly. A few months later, however, some have questioned why they cannot yet tap into the pipe.

"I've heard from people who want water," Selectboard member Anne Rider said at a meeting this week.

Town Administrator Katie Buckley said officials and engineers have been working behind the scenes to finish construction and iron out final details.


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"It's been quite a process -- working with our engineer and the Town of Brattleboro," Buckley said.

Sanderson said there were delays due to the need for specially fabricated parts in the line's meter vault, which monitors how much water is flowing into Guilford.

"There are parts in there that took longer to get than it did to build the line," he said.

Crews also had to put in a valve to reduce pressure before the water reaches Algiers.

Additionally, the pipe was disinfected, flushed and tested.

"We just got the water test back," Sanderson said. "It's clean, it's been disinfected. It passed those tests."

He added that "there are a couple outstanding items that need to be dealt with, but they don't affect the function of the water line."

Anyone interested in connecting to the line will have to seek permission from both towns and from the state. Sanderson said the process "isn't that involved" and is standard for a water-line project.

Guilford officials expect to host a public meeting to explain the tap-in process. No date has been set.

"Once we have all of our information, then we can give them a specific time frame," Buckley said.

Mike Faher can be reached at mfaher@reformer.com or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.