1999 Annual Report



Of the


P.O. BOX 174


October 1, 1998 - September 30, 1999 

     The Jericho-Underhill Water District serves approximately 800 people plus several businesses, a new library and two schools (I.D. Elementary and Browns River Middle School) with safe drinking water.  Our water is obtained from two gravel wells 175 feet deep situated south of the Browns River on the Jericho/Underhill town line.  The quality of the water is excellent and it has a pleasing taste. 

Drinking Water Quality 


     Manganese continues to exist in the water, occurring naturally from deposits in the soil.  This secondary, non-health related metal tends to adhere to plumbing fixtures in the home and becomes a nuisance if left untreated.  However, a polyphosphate is added to combine with the manganese to minimize staining toilet bowls, dishwashers and lavatories. 

     Chlorine is added in small amounts to provide a disinfectant throughout the system.  This practice helps protect against biological contaminants that could enter our pipes through leaks, say, during flushing operations or when a fire demands high flow from hydrants. 

     Sodium fluoride is added to build strong teeth and bones.  Its main function is to prevent dental caries from forming.  It is injected at the control building and 1.1 to 1.3 parts per million is maintained in the water. 

     Our system is monitored in several ways.  Water quality is checked for the presence of coliform bacteria, chlorine, fluoride, polyphosphate, inorganic compounds (mostly metals), organic compounds (both natural and manufactured), radiological contaminants (primarily naturally occurring) and nitrate.  All constituents tested for are not tested every year.  However, coliform bacteria are sampled and tested for monthly, chlorine and fluoride are checked daily, polyphosphate is checked weekly and nitrate is tested for annually.  This year we sampled for Volatile Organic Compounds as required by the state. 

     Other monitoring involves checking the pump cycles and water tank level charts twice a week and there is a constant pager warning system in place that sends a signal if the tank level is too high or low.  At present, each of the three Board members has a pager plus our operator has his own, all tied to water controls. 

     The only volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found were three of the four tri-halomethanes for a total VOC of 4.5 micrograms per liter (mg/L).  The standard is 100 mcg/L, so we are well below the standard.  Nitrate was less than 0.5 mg/L, which is below detectable laboratory capability.  The fluoride testing is performed daily and a split sample is sent to the state each week.  This split sample correlates well with state results.  We maintain between 1.1 and 1.3 mg/L of fluoride in the water system.  Chlorine is maintained between a trace amount and 0.4 mg/L.  Polyphosphate is kept at between 0.9 and 1.2 mg/L to sequester the manganese to minimize plating out on plumbing fixtures such as dishwashers, lavatories and toilet bowls.  Manganese is a metal, but is not harmful at levels found in your water.   The secondary (non-health) standard is 0.05 mg/L (not to exceed level) and there is 0.12 mg/L in the water as a natural (nuisance) substance.  The monthly coliform bacteria testing did not reveal the presence of any positive bacteria. 

Projects Completed 

     New services were installed at 8 Dumas Road, Underhill (Arietta Wrisley) and the Green Thumb Gardening (former Methodist Church).  Erie boxes were replaced at 347 Vermont Route 15 (Nelson Davis) and 397 Vermont Route 15 (former Powell house, now Sue and Jim Paulsen).  The service line that serves Joe and Louise O’Brien at 41 Maple Ridge was insulated and covered in the town ditch by our forces with the Town of Underhill Road Foreman’s permission. 

     A new computer was purchased for the Clerk/Treasurer to update billing procedures and to include curb stop data. 

     The two inch copper water main that serves Barrett Lane was damaged by a contractor during installation of a box culvert for Roaring Brook.  The contractor had been told about the line, but the workmen had not been told.  The contractor made a satisfactory repair at his cost and also paid for Water District personnel involvement. 

     We marked our small pipe blow-offs at Barrett Lane, Liberty Lane and Maple Ridge with metal posts and reflector markers.  The main access road gate to the Control Building was welded and painted and a wheel was added to enhance opening and closing it. 

     Several Erie Boxes were repaired and raised to be flush with grade for ease in finding them and gaining access to the curb stop valve. 

     The water system was flushed three times to remove brown water that occasionally shows up. 

     Twenty two hydrants were painted.  We are on a three year paint cycle, but did not paint any last year.  The water piping in the Control Building was painted blue to control pipe corrosion. 

     The large meter at Browns River Middle School was repaired by the school district.  It’s owned by the school.   Meters throughout the District are getting old and several have been replaced as problems with some of them arise. 

     120 feet of  river bank was stabilized with District funds on the Browns River.  The area is on the north side of the Browns River near the Control Building where the 12” force main water pipe crosses Browns River.  It was felt by the Board that the 12” river crossing was in jeopardy as the river bed and the north bank were being seriously eroded. 

     A new and smaller chlorinator pump was added to increase the frequency of chlorine injection.  This, it is believed, will mitigate the brown water problem that occurs occasionally. 

     A contractor (Kingsbury Construction) hired by the Town of Jericho replaced culverts conveying water of The Creek with a single concrete box culvert on Palmer Lane.  All work was done without any incident involving the 6 inch I.D.A.C. Water pipe the District owns and maintains on Palmer Lane.  The water pipe was not exposed or damaged during this construction procedure and rests under the new box culvert. 

     The Water District made drinking water available to people with private wells who were low or out of water during the drought.  Jane and Marc Maheux made their outside faucet at Countryside Florist available as a convenience to these people with the Board's permission.  People were asked to contribute a small amount of money for this availability of drinking water.  The Town of Underhill also obtained water at hydrant No. 1 near the Control Building to make drinking water available to people near Underhill Center.  The town paid the going rate for this. 

     The District embarked on an important project to locate all Erie Boxes (where the individual shut-offs exist).  96% of the curb stops were located and we are presently working on getting the information on our computer. 

     Route 15 was paved which required raising a few Erie Boxes and the main valve boxes on Route 15 and side roads Raceway, Park Street, and Meadow Lane. 

     Water use has been on the increase this past summer, most likely due to the drought.  We are averaging around 60,000 gallons per day of water used. 

     Last Spring Harold Sargent and Marc Maheux were interviewed by the Across the Fence people for WCAX-TV.  The program was aired in connection with Drinking Water Week in early May.   Our water system represented a small groundwater water system. 

     We have researched the potential for a Y2K problem.  The Board determined that we were at very low risk of not providing water to you as we enter a new millennium.  Our electric power company (C.V.P.S.) indicated to us that they have spent considerable money researching and analyzing that situation and is confident electricity will not be interrupted.  We have five days of water storage in our tank.  Our emergency supply people required payment of five months rental to secure a generator.  Accordingly, the Board felt the cost of five to six months rental was too great to justify when assurances had been given by the electric power company. 

     The Board has projects it’s working on for year 2000 and beyond.  It welcomes your participation at all meetings normally held on the first Monday of the month at 7:00 p.m. In the basement of the United Church of Underhill at the park in the Underhill Flats area. 


Harold E. Sargent, President



Kenneth R. Crimmins, Trustee



Peter H. Mitchell, Trustee