Carrington neighborhood faces new water woe

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Carrington neighborhood faces new water woe

St Charles/Waldorf, Charles County - 5/31/2007

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By Staff Writer Anna Dailey

Waldorf’s Carrington neighborhood is “rotting from the inside out”, according to a disgusted neighborhood resident.

The resident, who asked not to be named, was inspired to make the comment while witnessing a Saturday morning water main break on Van Buren Drive. Two Bay Net reporters noticed a smallish river of water coursing through gutters on Van Buren Drive while driving through the area at 11:45 a.m.

The reporters quickly located the source, a gaping hole next to a sidewalk where the water had pushed its way topside with enough force to rip through a layer of sod. The resulting smallish geyser bubbled away madly, filling nearby gutters, storm drains and sidewalks with additional silt and debris.


Upon inquiry, the reporters discovered that neighbors had called Charles County Utilities an hour earlier and were patiently waiting for repairs to begin.

On Tuesday, Steve Strobel, Charles County Utilities’ Superintendent of Line Maintenance, filled in the rest of the details through county Press Secretary George Clarkson. 

When crews arrived early Saturday afternoon and began digging, they discovered "an eight inch clean break in the water main [line]", according to Clarkson.

He was certain the break wasn’t severe enough that nearby homes lost water pressure completely.  The only time Carrington residents lost water service was between the hours of 3 - 5 p.m. when Utilities employees shut off the water to finish repairs at the scene.  In five hours the break lost 3,300 gallons of water; a week’s worth of water for an average single family household.

This is the latest water problem for Waldorf’s oldest neighborhood.

Carrington Residents have been trying to get regular inspections and upgrades for their aging water and sewer infrastructure, but have been unable to come to a solution because the neighborhood’s original developers failed to provide property easements around utility pipes, ditches and storm drains.

The lack of easements means that utility inspectors and repair personnel cannot set foot on problem-plagued properties without explicit permission from property owners. This effectivly ties the county's hands

The Charles County Board of Commissioners is the latest participant to join Carrington residents in the neighborhood’s long standing game of legal “hot potato” with the Smallwood Village Association, Charles County and the state. 

In early March of this year the Commissioners received a report from County Development Services Division’s Bob Harrington (Dept. of Planning and Development) detailing the deteriorating state of Carrington’s water/sewer infrastructure. During this March briefing, Harrington reported data which he collected six months earlier in August 2006. 

Since that time, residents have received no further word on the state of the project. 

See The Bay Net’s March article on Carrington’s water/sewer problems:  Draining the Carrington Wetlands

To contact Anna Dailey about community issues email
She welcomes comments about this article or topic in the feedback box below.

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