Bg&e, County Split Cost Of Tapping Into City Water

Existing Supply Is Adequate Only Until 1996

November 10, 1991|By Alan J. Craver | Alan J. Craver,Staff writer

Harford Executive Eileen M. Rehrmann and the Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. have agreed to jointly pay for tapping into a Baltimore-owned aqueduct that runs along Interstate 95, a move Rehrmann said would save the county money.

Rehrmann said she expects the county to save about $125,000 by building the tap with the utility, which wants to use water from the city pipeline to expand its Perryman generating station.

"What we're doing is a win for the rate payers of Baltimore Gas &Electric and the taxpayers of Harford County," Rehrmann said. "It really is benefiting both parties."

Rehrmann and BG&E President Edward Crooke signed the agreement during a ceremony in the valve room ofthe county's 2 million-gallon water tower on Abingdon Road at I-95.

Under the agreement, the county and BG&E will build their own tapsand valves but will share the cost of installing equipment that operates the taps. BG&E will handle engineering and construction of the equipment and bill the county for its share of the work.

At the tower site, the county plans to build a water treatment plant and pumping station for the water it takes out of the pipeline, known as "the Big Inch."

The plant and pumping station, expected to be in operation by June 1994, will cost about $25 million to build, said John Ferrell, the county's consultant on the project.

The county plans to go to the bond market to pay for the plant, pumping station and pipes that will connect the new facilities to existing water lines. The bonds would be paid off through user fees.

The county is still negotiating with Baltimore City administrators to determine how much the county will pay for the water it takes out of the pipeline.

Harford Attorney Emory Plitt said he expects the city and county to finish the negotiations by the end of the year.

The county obtained permission to tap into the 38-mile pipeline when the city built it in 1963. The aqueduct, which has a diameter of 108 inches, runs from the Susquehanna River north of Havre de Grace to Lake Montebello in Baltimore.

The city has a permit to draw up to 250 million gallons of water a day from the Susquehanna but uses the aqueduct only in times of drought.

Tapping into the water line is expected to provide the county up

to 10 million gallons of water daily. County water customers now consume about 6 million gallons daily.

The county needs another source of water because population projections show customer demandwill equal the county's water supply between 1994 and 1996.

A total of 22,835 customers now use the county's water system, but the number of customers is expected to increase by 1,200 a year. Each customer uses an average of 120 gallons of water daily.

BG&E is planninga $300 million expansion project at its Perryman generating station.

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