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Silvermine Water Line Officially Flowing

State and Town Officials welcome clean water for residents off Silvermine and Pocono roads.

With the culmination of six and a half years of effort, clean water is now flowing on the Silvermine Water Line. The milestone was marked with a special ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Fire Department on Pocono Road Thursday morning, July 29.

"Within the next 10 days, clean water will flow to every condominium," First Selectman Bill Davidson promised, asserting that this is a solid deadline that will be met. Tests completed Thursday morning registered uranium-free water in three of the four condominium complexes serviced by the new line (Silvermine Manor, Newbury Crossing, Ledgewood and High Meadow); the fourth will be flushed and retested next week.

The new water line will bring potable water to residents in central Brookfield, who have been living with uranium-contaminated water for years. "I've heard it said that in World War II they thought seriously of mining uranium in Brookfield," former First Selectman Jerry Murphy, who started the water line project during his administration, said (though he couldn't confirm if the anecdote was true).

Murphy was relieved to finally see this project come to completion, but added that there is still work to be done. "This same team now needs to get water to Danbury," he said, referencing the planned Southern Line that will run along Federal Road from the junction with route 133 to Danbury. The Southern Line has a projected completion date of December 2011, according to Marty Handshy, the town's water advisor.

Part of the team Murphy spoke of were agents within the Connecticut Department of Health (DPH), including the now-retired Drinking Water Section Chief Darrell Smith, who stayed with the DPH just long enough to see this project through. "I retired back in February," he said, "and I only retied because I knew this project was nearly finished."

State Senator Andrew Roraback (R-30) and State Representative David Scribner (R-107) were also on hand for the occasion. "The more daunting the challenge, the sweeter the taste of success," Roraback said, paraphrasing an old proverb. "I don't think there will be a sweeter drop of water on Earth than what will come out of the tap here."

"This is critically important," Scribner said, "not just for those who will benefit from the water, but it will benefit the entire community," with working fire hydrants and increases in the grand list, as well as potable water for Brookfield's citizens.

Before the water projects were underway, the town had 17 operable fire hydrants. With the installation of the Northern Line (36 working hydrants according to Handshy, who acted as manager of the institution that built the line, BV Water), hydrants on the Barnbeck Line and the new installations along Silvermine and Pocono, the town now has more than 60 working hydrants.

The ceremony ended with a ribbon cutting and an arc of water from one of the new hydrants, positioned in front of the Fire Department.

Aaron Boyd (Editor) July 30, 2010 at 03:51 PM
According to the First Selectman's Office, Silvaggi was invited to the ceremony but was unable to attend due to a prior commitment.
Shannon Carlson October 29, 2010 at 03:02 AM
I hope the water flowing down Silvermine is very sweet indeed. It is being paid for by Silvermine residents who are not being properly represented by their government, which, according to this article, is very busy congratulating itself for a job well done. How do you justify passing along the cost of a water system to people who did not request it and who cannot afford to pay for it? My single residence neighbors have just been billed $10K - $20K for this unrequested water which is too far from their houses to tap into without incurring further extreme costs (one neighbor was given a preliminary quote of over $20K by a plumber). And the condos who requested the water? Those residents are paying a quarter of that amount. Why? Because the formula they used to determine who pays what is largely based on road frontage and acreage. If you live in the condos, you have little of either. Does that sound fair or equitable? Not to us. And where did this formula come from? Danbury, they told us. Which, last I checked, is a CITY, not a rural town like Brookfield where we live on land larger than a postage stamp and we strive to preserve our green spaces and wetlands. Why can't we divide the cost per household instead? There has to be a better way of distributing the costs. I feel like I am being punished for living here and having a nice home.
Shannon Carlson October 29, 2010 at 03:05 AM
Oh, and while I am happy for the condos that they now have sweet, potable water, let's keep in mind that they already had such water, because they've long had water softeners which removed harmful elements.

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