SERCAP’s Facilities Development Program recently awarded a Facilities Development Grant to the Willing Workers Club Water System in the community of Carrollton in Isle of Wight County, Virginia. The Willing Workers Club Water System is a small, privately owned water system, which was founded in the mid 1990’s by the residents to serve the small minority community of Carrollton. The small community well system provides water service to 18 households.
A Community Water System (CWS) is defined as providing drinking water to a minimum of 15 service connections (households and/or small businesses) or the same 25 people at least 6-months out of the year. All Community Water Systems must comply with state and federal drinking water standards and, in Virginia, regulatory oversight of those systems is carried out by the Virginia Department of Health’s Office of Drinking Water (VDH ODW). Due to the small number of residents hooked-up to the Willing Workers Club Water System relative to the operations cost required to maintain compliance with state and federal drinking water regulations, the system has become non-compliant, and therefore SERCAP is providing financial assistance to help resolve the situation.
The options considered for achieving regulatory compliance, included installing a treatment system, and potentially connecting the community to the Isle of Wight County Public Utilities. However, the cost of each of these options proved to be prohibitive and well beyond the means of the small community. After these possibilities were considered and rejected, an additional option presented itself: split the single water system into two smaller ones. If an additional well is drilled, splitting the household connections between the existing community well and the newly drilled well, then each smaller system would fall below the 15 connections/25 individuals Community Water System threshold, and would no longer be required to comply with waterworks regulations, saving the community significant funds in operating and compliance costs. SERCAP awarded the Willing Workers Club Water System a grant in the amount of $32,000.00 through its Facilities Development Grant program to cover the cost of drilling the new well and installing the new distribution system. All construction work for the project is expected to be completed this fall.
Without SERCAP’s Facilities Development Program and other similar services, many communities,
low-income individuals, and families would be forced to go without such necessities as water and wastewater infrastructure solutions, community infrastructure needs, indoor plumbing, properly functioning wells and septic systems, safe and affordable housing, and more. It is important to remember that even in the United States in the 21st Century; there are those who do not have reliable access to clean, safe drinking water, environmentally sound septic facilities, and affordable housing. In order to help SERCAP continue to provide assistance to both the individuals and communities in need, please consider making a donation to SERCAP’s Water Life! Fund!
*Funding for SERCAP’s Regional Department is provided by the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Office of Community Services’ (OCS) Grant, USDA RD’s Technitrain Program, the Drinking Water Compliance Grant through the EPA, and the EPA Private Well Grant. Funding for SERCAP’s Facilities Development Program is provided by a Budget Appropriation from the Virginia General Assembly, which is administered by the Virginia Department of Housing & Community Development. Additionally, all of SERCAP’s programs and services in Virginia are leveraged by the Budget Appropriation from the Virginia General Assembly, administered by DHCD.