Booster pumps remedy low pressure

MAILBAG

November 21, 1999

A few weeks ago I received a letter from Russ Vincent who purchased a new home in the Anne Arundel development of Jonathan's Landing. It seems, however, that low water pressure in the new homes built there have figuratively given him a case of high blood pressure.

According to Vincent, he and more than 20 other owners discovered last spring that the water pressure in the homes was so low "it is hard to do more than one thing at a time." The builder's solution was to ask them to pony up another $700 to install a water-booster system.

Vincent says he assumed that his home would be built according to all county codes and requirements and that he and his neighbors should not have to "pay for the mistake" of others.

After some investigating, this is what I found out.

Anne Arundel County officials are aware of the water-pressure deficiencies at Jonathan's Landing, and appear to take them seriously.

According to John Morris, a county information officer, the 24-acre tract of Jonathan's Landing was subdivided into 72 single-family lots in November 1996. During the county's review of the subdivision proposal, the Department of Public Works (DPW) indicated that water pressure at certain lots which are a higher elevations would experience water pressure problems. The DPW recommended several potential solutions that the developer could have provided, including individual booster pumps for the affected homes.

After investigating complaints from you and your neighbors, the county agreed that some homes were built without pumps that may have required them. The county conducted flow tests on Oct. 27 using a sampling of homes in Jonathan's Landing. The test measured the system's ability to produce water in an upstairs bathroom at a rate of 6 gallons per minute.

When the specific test results are in hand, the county's Planning and Code Enforcement Department intends to notify the developer which homes at specific elevations will require individual booster pumps.

The county appears to be taking effective action to have the developer correct the water-pressure problem. County officials expect the developer to cooperate. If the developer declines to install booster pumps, as required, Morris said, the county has the ability to enforce the request.

Anne Arundel County should be commended for its actions to date in trying to solve the water-pressure problems in your subdivision, and save the affected homeowners any further expense.

Questions?

Real estate questions are answered by Jonathan A. Azrael of Azrael, Gann and Franz of Towson. Questions -- including name, address and daytime telephone number -- may be sent in the following ways:

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