Home Augusta County resident waiting on Waynesboro to solve ‘toxic water’ problem

Augusta County resident waiting on Waynesboro to solve ‘toxic water’ problem

Crystal Graham
toxic water waynesboro
Submitted by Julie Lindimore

Augusta County resident Julie Lindimore has been dealing with oily and grey water on her property on Maryland Avenue just outside the Waynesboro city limits since 2018.

She’s spent thousands of dollars trying to solve the problem with the well at her 80-year-old house – installing an expensive water treatment system and filters to help with what she calls “toxic water.”

According to Lindimore, when the the Environmental Protection Agency was contacted, the agency blamed the water issue on a dump site that was improperly handled. The landfill in question was reportedly closed in the mid-1980s and runs from Gravel Ridge Road to Delphine Avenue.

Lindimore said she believes the water vein was interrupted when someone on the land above her attempted to drill a well.

Lindimore said that Waynesboro got a water sample, and the test came back with “manmade chemicals” in her water supply.

To solve the issue, she said that the City of Waynesboro was supposed to tap her into a water line that is 300 yards down from the road in the city.

According to Waynesboro City Manager Mike Hamp, the city is working with Lindimore to connect her to the municipal water system.

He said that “man-made organize compounds” were detected in her water but at quantities below actionable levels, and none exceed the Groundwater Protection Standards that are associated with solid waste management facilities.

As a precautionary measure, Hamp said, the city did begin providing water to Lindimore.

“Last June, they delivered a water dispenser, and Crystal Springs Water Company carries 5-gallon jugs to me bimonthly,” Lindimore said. “I have been carrying these water jugs for our home. I am sore and tired of lifting 40-plus-pound water jugs to the house.”

However, one year since a solution was proposed, she is still dealing with water problems. Hamp said the city has initiated the process of connecting her home to the city’s water system.

“Last summer, the city attorney completed an agreement that will be executed prior to the water line extension and connection,” Hamp said in an email to AFP.

“The original engineering solution relied on the use of an Augusta County right of way, however, the county initially would not approve the proposed plan,” Hamp said. “The city explored alternative routes but was unable to secure the necessary easements. The county has since agreed to allow the city to use their right of way.”

Lindimore is learning the hard way that solutions from the government take time.

“We regret that the matter has taken this long but emphasize that the city believes that we are acting responsibly and in a precautionary manner to assist Ms. Lindimore,” Hamp said.

Lindimore said that her calls and emails to the city for updates are not returned. Hamp said that his office did speak to her recently, and they are researching an answer to questions she had.

“I am sick and tired of going to the laundromat and collecting rainwater to bathe in,” Lindimore said.

Augusta County Administrator Timothy Fitzgerald did not return our request for an update on the matter.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.