Public water is flowing in Laytonsville, but the news has trickled out, without a flood of response.
Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission spokesman Jerry Irvine confirmed that after a period of flushing, testing and permit approvals, the water became available on Feb. 21.
“Anyone who wants to call a plumber can start using the system,” he said.
Irvine said a notice was sent to county and Laytonsville officials on Feb. 28, and a letter soon will go out to area residents, notifying them that the water project is complete.
Mayor Dan Prats said he got the news on Feb. 28, and planned to make an announcement at the Town Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday evening. He is working with WSSC to plan a ribbon-cutting celebration, probably to take place later this month.
Irvine said that as of Tuesday afternoon, no one had applied for permits to access the water.
Because Prats’ home is relatively new and he has had no problems with his water, he doesn’t plan to hook up to public water.
Prats said the town hall will be connected, but there are no plans yet.
With public water, the town’s fire hydrants, which have been covered in plastic for the past year or so, now are operational.
“We haven’t used them yet, and hope we don’t ever need them, but we know they are available to us,” said Buddy Sutton, chief of the Laytonsville District Volunteer Fire Department. “It is a great improvement for us to provide fire protection to the surrounding area, and for the new addition to our fire station.”
Sutton said they soon would begin testing the hydrants for water pressure. They will be able to fill tankers from the hydrants, which is more convenient than driving to other areas with hydrants or relying on pond water.
Ivar Olsen, who lives between Fieldcrest and Dorsey roads, outside the town limits, eagerly awaited the finish of the water project.
He said WSSC engineers told him that his water pressure would improve 10 to 20 pounds once the pumping station, near the intersection of Woodfield Road (Md. 124) and East Village Ave., was operational.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Olsen had not noticed any change, and when he tested it, the pressure had only increased two pounds.
“Something is amiss,” he said, frustrated. “I will continue to look into this.”
Because the project has been in the works for decades, public water is a welcome amenity for the town of approximately 300 residents, who have had to rely on well water.
WSSC and developer Natelli Communities paid for the project.
“The developer needed the water in order to build the Laytonsville Preserve development, so the timing of this just came together,” Prats said.
It will solve the problems of poor water quality and failing septic systems and provide water for Laytonsville Elementary School, the fire department, and the Layton Village shopping center.
“Former Mayor Willard [Oland] worked on this project for decades,” Prats said. “To see water finally able to flow in Laytonsville is a great thing.”