The Brunswick City Council voted to approve a site survey for Yourtee Springs, one of the water sources for the community.
The survey, estimated to cost $49,785, will evaluate the implementation of a new water filtration treatment center and a new water storage tank. It is the first step in fixing the Yourtee Springs site, City Administrator David Dunn said.
The site had been shut down due to groundwater infiltration that came from increased rainfall in Brunswick, Dunn said. Since it’s a drinking water source, the Maryland Department of the Environment requires testing. And with the rain, it felt that the city had to shut down the site so often to treat the water and pass the tests.
“It’s just that we’ve had so much water this year, you get groundwater infiltration,” he said.
Treating spring water is exponentially cheaper than treating river water, he said. Brunswick also gets water from the Potomac River. Dunn said that when Yourtee was up and running, they could get 120,000 gallons a day.
“It’s just a much better water source,” he said.
The overall project is expected to cost $500,000, Dunn told council members, but it would be worth it.
“I know a half a million dollars sounds, it is a lot of money, but you can do the math on how much you save,” Dunn said at the meeting.
Councilman John Dayton said at the meeting that it was the right time to approve the survey and start fixing Yourtee.
“It’s such a drastic difference in cost,” he said. “It’s the right move to make.”
Also approved was $21,500 for a survey to determine what needed to be repaired in the Martin’s Creek tunnel.
The tunnel was washed away due to the flooding the city experienced as a result of two 1-in-100 chance storms.
“When an engineer tells you it’s in bad shape, it’s a bit hard to turn the other way,” Dunn said.
If the tunnel goes left unchecked, it can result in worse damage, including a possible sinkhole, Dayton said at the meeting.
The survey will determine the extent of the damage to allow the city to take future steps.
At the meeting, the council also heard from Preservation Maryland on the idea of turning downtown Brunswick into a conservation district. The idea is still in its early stages, Dunn said.
He said that the city is waiting to hear more from the results of the small area plan.