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New Kent residents asked to conserve water for 10 weeks due to water storage tank painting

Published: Oct. 27, 2021 at 3:06 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 27, 2021 at 6:17 PM EDT
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NEW KENT, Va. (WWBT) - Some residents in New Kent are being asked to conserve water for about 10 weeks as work gets underway to paint a water storage tank.

Beginning the week of Nov. 1, the Farms of New Kent water storage tank will be off-line for interior and exterior painting.

The county says the project is expected to take approximately 10 weeks.

Beginning the week of November 1, 2021, the Farms of New Kent water storage tank will be off-line for interior and...

Posted by New Kent County on Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Some residents may experience lower than normal water pressure during periods of high demand, especially in the mornings.

Facebook comments flooded in from residents, frustrated with the news. One of them came from Matt Cash, who says the tower is situated on a half-acre block owned by the county in the middle of his property.

“It’s technically my road, but they have a ‘right to travel’ easement on that road to get to the water tower,” Cash said.

Cash says he is upset that the county did not notify him directly ahead of time. He learned about the project through the Facebook post.

His main concern is crews coming on and off his road for the next 10 weeks, making loud noise.

“That’s gonna be a ton of noise,” he said. “It’s just gonna affect my property, and then I feel for the people who are gonna have to deal with lower water pressure.”

Cash pointed out the tank will be out of service through the holidays, when more families come into town.

Assistant Director of Utilities Mike Lang says the paint job is crucial maintenance work.

During this time period, New Kent Public Utilities customers are asked to conserve water wherever possible, particularly with regards to lawn irrigation.

“The other issue is the continued deterioration of the interior coating on the tank, which leads to rust, and of course, rust can harbor bacteria and that affects drinking water quality,” Lang said.

He says it may not affect customers as much as they think, as long as they are careful not to go overboard on water usage.

“The tank has been out of service for over a week already, and we haven’t had any complaints,” Lang said. “We have had it off and we’ve been testing our operations without the bank, so we expect normal operations.”

Lang says the worst-case scenario would be a water outage, but he says everything should go smoothly as long as customers are cognizant of how much water they use, and as long as they keep in touch with public utilities if any issues arise.

The affected neighborhoods include Deerlake, Rochambeau Estates, Kenwood Estates, Greenwood Estates, Crestwicke, Quinton Estates, Viniterra, The Arbors, The Grove (Four Seasons), Oakmont Villas, Bel Green and Brickshire, as well as the business districts at Route 249 & Route 612, and at I-64 & Route 106.

Residents are asked to report any water outages to New Kent DPU at (804) 966-9678, and after hours to the Sheriff’s Office at (804) 966-9500.

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