OLD LYME – Almost a year after Connecticut Water took over Miami Beach’s water system, long-standing quality concerns have finally been resolved in time for the high-usage summer season, the company has announced.
The small water company serving just over 100 customers in the Miami Beach Association had been struggling to fix wells the state Department of Public Health found were improperly sealed in 2016.
Connecticut Water, which serves about 350,000 people in 60 Connecticut towns, took over the Miami Beach system in September at the smaller company’s request, aiming to use its resources to bring the system back into compliance. The company raised the beach customers’ rates by about 400 percent to account for the expected cost of fixing the system.
The company resolved the system’s issues by piping water from Miami Beach wells to the water treatment facility at a neighboring Old Lyme beach community, Sound View, which Connecticut Water acquired in 1995. The water from Miami Beach is treated and piped into the water mains that serve most of Connecticut Water’s customers in Old Lyme.
“Addressing the sanitary issues was our highest priority and we successfully navigated the challenges associated with making the required improvements prior to the summer 2023 season when water usage is higher,” Rose Gavrilovic, Connecticut Water vice president of service delivery, said in a Thursday news release.
Connecticut has promoted consolidation of the nearly 500 community water systems throughout the state, many of which face similar issues of lacking expertise and money to manage water systems that meet modern health regulations.
The company said work on the Miami Beach system will continue in the coming years, including installation of new water mains to improve reliability and reduce the amount of water lost to underground leaks.
According to a notice from DPH, four Miami Beach wells had casings that were deteriorating, didn’t extend far enough into the ground or weren’t properly sealed. Use of all four wells had been suspended, but Connecticut Water can use them again now that they’re connected to the Sound View treatment, the department said.
But the department said two of the wells must be shut down again if there is ever an interruption at the Sound View treatment plant.