Following the completion of the Rattle Creek Water Line Extension Project earlier this year, several residences in the Rattle Creek Road community were connected to WCSA’s water service, providing them with clean and dependable access to clean drinking water for the very first time.
These community members no longer have to worry about unsafe drinking water during periods of heavy rainfall, low water pressure for showers and washing machines, manually hauling water from the spring whenever a power outage prevented the water pumps from working, or water freezing underground during very cold weather.
Wanda Bailey has lived nearly her entire life in the Rattle Creek Road community. For a number of years, three families drew water from a large, abundant spring for all their needs, but eventually her family was the only one still tapping into the nearby source. Despite its plentiful supply, water pressure into the home via a submersible pump was far from optimal.
“While I always had a good supply of water from the spring, I had pressure issues,” Bailey said. “Showers and filling up the washing machine took a long time, and debris in the spring water would build up and I’d have to clean our filters pretty often.
“If temperatures dropped below freezing in winter, I had to leave the water dripping or the lines would freeze. If the water froze underground, I’d have to wait until it got warm enough to thaw it out before I had water again. At any time of the year, if the power went out, so would the pump, and I’d have to go down to the spring and carry water back up the hill in buckets and jugs. That was hard to do, especially when it snowed.”
For 48 years, Laura Morrison and her husband, Roger, have also relied on a spring to provide them with water.
“The spring has supplied us well throughout the decades,” Morrison said. “However, more people have moved into the community over the years and also draw from the spring, and we’ve also noticed that the water has become murkier when it rains and isn’t as good to drink.
“Whenever the electricity goes out, so does the pump from the holding tank in our basement. We have to go to the spring or to a neighbor on the water system, and fill up cans and buckets to use at our house. As we’ve gotten older, it’s become harder for us to deal with that.”
In late 2015, the Morrisons approached WCSA about the possibility of bringing water to the Rattle Creek Road community. Laura oversaw the process of getting paperwork to all of her neighbors who were also interested in being connected and returned those to WCSA, who then embarked on the long process of bacteriological testing of the water supplies for those residences, soliciting user agreements for a potential water line extension project to serve those homes, and applying for funding to support the project costs.
In 2018, WCSA was awarded $310,000 in funding from the Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. The funding was designated by WCSA for the Rattle Creek Water Line Extension Project.
“We were excited to receive this grant,” says Robbie Cornett, general manager for WCSA. “It is always our goal to provide exceptional water and wastewater service at a reasonable cost to our existing customers, as well as expand our water distribution and wastewater collection systems to better serve the needs of the residents in our community. These funds enabled WCSA to complete the necessary improvements needed to provide our Rattle Creek neighbors with access to a reliable source of clean drinking water.”
In January 2019, WCSA was able to advertise the Rattle Creek Road Water Line Extension Project and begin construction. The project consisted of approximately 6,000 linear feet of 8-inch and 2-inch waterline and all related appurtenances. Connections were made to 12 single-family residential homes, with the potential to serve two additional homes. Connections were also made for a church and three additional homes that are currently being renovated by their owners. The project was completed on August 1, and the residents of this community are now served by a safe and consistent drinking water supply.
“Water service through WCSA has been an asset in several ways,” Bailey says. “I’m enjoying the water pressure. I can take a nice shower and it doesn’t take as long for the washing machine to fill up. I’m looking forward to no longer having to worry about the water freezing in winter, and I’m about the luxury of still having water whenever the power goes out.”
“It’s so good to have water now,” Morrison says. “It’s so much more convenient and we have a lot more water pressure now. There were numerous parties involved in bringing water to our community, and I would like to thank everyone who had a part in it. We really appreciate it!”