GMB was hired in 2013 by Wicomico County, MD to design an extension of the City of Fruitland water system to serve the Morris Mill area near Salisbury, MD. In fall of 2012 drinking wells in the Morris Mill and Coulbourne Mill Road areas were tested for trichloroethylene (TCE), an industrial solvent used to remove grease from metals and used in the production of other chemicals or products. A large number of residential drinking wells had detectable levels of TCE above the maximum contaminate levels establish through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
GMB worked with the County to develop a project that would provide clean, uncontaminated water to the residents within the Morris Mill area by extending public water from the City of Fruitland with an elevated storage tank and a water distribution system. Due to the emergency nature of this project and the concerns with contamination, both the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA-RD) each provided three million dollars ($3,000,000) in grant funds to fund this project with the remaining of funds coming from a USDA-RD federal loan. During preliminary stages, GMB assisted the County with holding several public meetings to discuss the project with local residents and keep the public informed as the project developed.
By winter of 2015 GMB had completed the design, and construction started on the Morris Mill Water System project. The project extended the City of Fruitland water distribution system into the Morris Mill area and connected to two (2) existing places, providing a looped system. The project comprised of installing over 30,000 linear feet of water main and construction of a 500,000 gallon elevated water tank. The total number of homes connected to the water system under this project was 273. In addition to installing the main distribution lines, USDA-RD funding was provided to connect the water laterals from the meter pit to the inside of the house for each resident.
GMB provided full construction administration and inspection service for the Morris Mill Water System project. GMB coordinated all monthly meetings between the County, City of Fruitland, USDA-RD, MDE and Contractors and managed the grant and funding reimbursements. The inspection involved direct communication with all 273 residential homes to place the meter pits and coordinate connection of the water service laterals. The onsite Construction Representative was able to communicate day to day with the homeowners. GMB’s Construction Representative was a strong representative for the County by maintaining a supportive environment for the Contractor to complete a high-quality job and maintain the schedule while also keeping concerns or inquiries from local residents addressed. Several public meetings were held during the construction period in addition to GMB attendance at homeowners association meetings to provide a time to update the Morris Mill area residents and maintain positive communication.