New water tower going up along Route 13 in Fruitland

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Fruitland’s skyline has a new landmark — a 500,000-gallon water tower that is being built to serve that town, plus the 273-home Morris Mill development.

It’s an $8 million project funded by the federal, state and local governments. The project began after several Morris Mill residents noticed their water tasted bad, back in February 2013.

Nearly 300 homes in a residential subdivision in southeast Salisbury will be tied into the Fruitland water supply by early next year.

Tests two years ago revealed the contaminant TCE, an industrial solvent used in the past, when the area was a farm. Health Department testing sparked a fast-track effort to produce  new water supply system.

The state is paying $3 million and the U.S. Department of Agriculture is contributing another $3 million. Residents will pay the rest, through fees, over the next 40 years.

Once their water comes from the new Fruitland tower, Morris Mill residents will no longer use wells, though they may retain irrigation wells for outdoor use.

The tower is under construction and easily viewed from the Route 13 bypass. When it’s finished,  Fruitland, with a population of 5,000, will be able to take its current tank offline for maintenance.

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