Crozet Water Supply

Sort of part of a series of posts.

Most of Crozet’s public water comes from the Albemarle County Service Authority and Beaver Creek Reservoir. If you’re not on public water, you’re on well and septic.



Questions that need to be asked continually – do we have sufficient water and sewer capacity in the Crozet Growth Area?

Why is our water so cheap? Relatively.

Are they going to raise Beaver Creek Dam?

From the DP in July 2017:

(I’m pasting the entire article because I don’t trust that the DP will keep their content, and this is important stuff)

As the population in and around Crozet continues to increase, the Rivanna Water & Sewer Authority is beginning to consider ways to increase water capacity.

This summer, a contractor will begin analyzing the Crozet area in preparation for a Drinking Water Infrastructure Plan.

Aaron Duke with Hazen and Sawyer, the engineering firm that will be completing the DWIP, told the Crozet Community Advisory Committee at its most recent meeting that the firm will be looking at historical plant production and water usage data, Albemarle County planning forecasts, development patterns and other data to understand how much finished drinking water is going to be needed over the next 25 to 50 years for the Crozet service area.

“Based on that information, we can start to assess — from a supply standpoint, from a treatment standpoint and from a distribution standpoint — how much do we need to do,” Duke said. “Are we adequate? Do we have enough water supply capacity already? How is our treatment plant?”

Currently, the RWSA is permitted to withdraw and treat 1 million gallons per day at the Crozet Water Treatment Plant.

According to documents, average day usage of water has increased steadily over the past several years, which is in line with regional water demand forecasts, but maximum day demands in Crozet have consistently been 1.8 times the average. RWSA staff is anticipating the need for more than 1 million gallons per day of treatment plant capacity, which would need to be provided as soon as the summer of 2022.

“The spread between our top 10 peak days used to be 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, so yeah, there’s something going on on one day that caused something to happen,” RWSA Chief Engineer Jennifer Whitaker said. “Now we’re seeing two, three days over a hot summer week, and then two to three days the following week and then somebody needs to fill a pool, and then, and then and then. We’re seeing a much more consistent rise in that maximum condition more often that’s causing us to need to have the ability to treat and respond to it.”

The RWSA already has some improvements in the pipeline to address immediate needs.

The Crozet finished water pumping facilities will be replaced starting this year, and a design engineer is currently working on a preliminary engineering report for an expansion of the Crozet water treatment plant. According to the RWSA Capital Improvement Plan for Fiscal Years 2017-2021, those have an estimated cost of $2.6 million and $250,000, respectively.

Doug March, RWSA senior civil engineer, said both projects are needed to be able to consistently deliver an increased system capacity to the Crozet drinking water system.

“We’re going to go ahead and expand the existing water treatment plant,” March said. “We’re going to take it to 1.5, maybe even a little bit more, million gallons per day and update its capacity from 1.0 [million gallons per day], which is current.”

The current safe yield of the Beaver Creek Reservoir, which supplies water to Crozet, is 1.8 million gallons per day, March said, which was established in 2002 during the drought of record.

“We’re getting close, so there’s going to be some permitting issues we’ve got to look at, and that’s where the state [Department of Environmental Quality] comes in, and that is also going to be evaluated in the DWIP,” March said.

The RWSA is the water wholesaler to the Albemarle County Service Authority, which in turn sells water to residential customers.

ACSA Executive Director Gary O’Connell said they are serving about 8,400 people in the Crozet jurisdictional area — which is larger than the development area — with about 3,200 accounts. About 95 percent of the water customers are residential. Since 2010, the ACSA has seen a 35 percent increase in the number of connections in Crozet.

“Our staff’s spent a lot of time the last couple months just trying to identify who the customers are, who are the big users, are there any big users we can work with to try to help reduce consumption,” he said. “The big users in Crozet are the residents that are here.”

O’Connell said that they have 59 irrigation customers in Crozet, and that in peak months, irrigation accounts for about 4 percent of the water use. The breweries in the area, he said, account for less than 3 percent of the monthly water use.

“I actually spent a lot of time with the breweries trying to understand their use, and they’re pretty darn efficient with their use,” he said.

There also will need to be upgrades made to the Beaver Creek dam to meet updated state regulations, and the preliminary engineering report for the dam, which is due to the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation by June 2018, will be coordinated with the DWIP.

“If we need more water and we have to modify the dam, which could lead to a conclusion we need to raise the dam and the water level, we want to do that collaboratively and collectively, not two separate projects, but one project,” RWSA Executive Director Bill Mawyer said. “That’s what the long range part of this project is, to study if we need more water supply for the Crozet service area.”

“If we find that the community doesn’t need any additional water for 50 years, significantly, we’re at the end of the study because that is the answer,” Mawyer said. “If we find we need something in 25 years or 30 years, now we’ve got to start formulating some alternatives, working with DEQ with what they’re going to agree with, how much water they’re going to let us take out of the reservoir.”

The DWIP is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2018.

Allison Wrabel is a reporter for The Daily Progress. Contact her at (434) 978-7261, [email protected] or @craftypanda on Twitter.

 


The Series

  1. How Much Money for Infrastructure Has Crozet Gotten?
  2. Crozet Population Numbers Keep Growing
  3. Crozet Acronyms – What do They Mean?
  4. Crozet Water Supply
  5. Notes from a Crozet Coffee Conversation
  6. Ongoing Crozet Projects of Note
  7. Getting Involved in Crozet – Where to Start?
  8.  … I don’t yet know …
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