Loudoun Water Sued by Raspberry Folks

    (photo credit: Joe Shlabotnik)

    I can’t say I was surprised when I read this in the news today…apparently residents of the Raspberry Falls neighborhood, plagued with water issues for the last several years, have chosen to file suit against Loudoun Water, Van Metre Co, Marquis Custom Homes, VMK Associates Joint Venture, Virginia Residential Construction, Loudoun County Sanitation Authority and K. Hovnanivan Homes of Virginia. According to the article in the Loudoun Times Mirror, more than 250 residents banded together to file the lawsuit, seeking $1.1 million in damages for each plaintiff, and $50 million for central water utilities. A prior lawsuit filed last year was dismissed.

    The Leesburg Today published a more lengthy article and included Loudoun Water’s response to the situation. While I haven’t been able to find a copy of the 258 page filing online (yet), I did find a blog that looks like it’s maintained by members of the community in Raspberry, detailing the situation and their attempts at communication and reconciliation of the issues with Loudoun Water.  If what is on this site is true, it looks like Loudoun Water has blocked attempts to have raw water independently tested, among other issues.

    What is clear is that one well there was permanently closed after it was determined that groundwater was contaminating the well water, and Loudoun Water is now supposed to be conducting a study to see if a central pipeline of public water to Raspberry Falls is a feasible option. Residents are complaining of illnesses because of contaminated drinking water, and state that their copper pipes are suffering pinhole leaks from corrosion from this water, too.

    Why are homes still under construction in this community while it’s being sorted out? What sort of disclosures are being provided to purchasers by the builders there? Are prospective homebuyers being told of any of these issues?



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    3 Responses to “Loudoun Water Sued by Raspberry Folks”

    • Vicky Chrisner via Facebook

      Written on

      As a real estate agent, with no first hand knowledge either way, I have heard both sides of the issue – the one you mention as well as other opinions that think the entire thing is blown way out of proportion. About 6 months ago I had someone considering a purchase in that community -I seem to recall that there was information on the web site and also some kind of disclosure in the HOA package… but I just looked on the web site and can’t find it, so I am now wondering if I am crazy. In any case, Lo Water contends the allegations are false and the water has always been safe. If I were selling there, I’d certainly get something in writing saying I’d alerted a buyer that there are potential issues that they should evaluate themselves.

    • Heather Elias via Facebook

      Written on

      Well, clearly there was an issue if they permanently closed one of the wells. I know what to do if I’m representing a buyer, but I’m curious if the builders there are doing anything to provide more information and/or disclosures.

    • Tom Smith

      Written on

      In our neighborhood in Ashburn, van Metre built homes that have enormous water problems including sump pumps that run continuously, soaking wet back yards, and then they went away, refusing in many cases to install even a french drain to help alleviate the problem.

      Interesting to see that van Metre is operating in a similar manner in other communities. Clearly, they are a builder to be avoided.


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