A virtual meeting is being conducted on Wednesday, October 6, 2021 at 6:00 PM EST to discuss the Beaver Creek Watershed Structure No. 1 Planning Study. The project team will update the public on the status of the project, present the evaluated spillway upgrade alternatives and describe the sponsors preferred alternative. The project is located in Albemarle County approximately one-half mile north-northwest of the intersection of Browns Gap Turnpike/VA-680 and Three Notched Road/VA-240 and involves the rehabilitation of Beaver Creek Dam No. 1 to meet State and Federal requirements for high-hazard dams. The multi-purpose Beaver Creek Reservoir No. 1, operated by the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority (RWSA), serves as the sole municipal water supply for the Crozet Area in Albemarle County.
This meeting will be held virtually using the Zoom platform. A link to the meeting location will be posted to RWSA’s website at https://www.rivanna.org/rwsa-projects-map/beaver-creek-improvements/. Residents and interested parties will have the opportunity to ask questions and express any concerns about the project to the team. Following the meeting, the presentation will be posted to RWSA’s website for anyone who is unable to attend live. Questions and comments will be received until October 20, 2021. Additional details for accessing the recorded meeting and submitting feedback will be provided during the live presentation and posted to RWSA’s website.
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The Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority (RWSA) presented an update on our drinking water supply and production, wastewater treatment, and local projects in progress for the Crozet area. RWSA Executive Director Bill Mawyer described $41.5 million in projects, ranging from those just completed (such as improvements to the water treatment plant and filtration system) to those on the horizon such as a new Beaver Creek Reservoir pump station and improvements to the Beaver Creek Dam scheduled for 2024-2026. These projects are paid for by all customers of the Albemarle County Service Authority via their water bills.
The Beaver Creek dam, pump station, and piping modification needs are driven by upgrades required by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation’s dam safety standards. The project will replace the major infrastructure elements that carry water to Crozet’s water treatment plant and will install a new labyrinth spillway in the dam at a total cost of $27 million.
Mawyer noted two bits of news that may alleviate the concerns of Beaver Creek area residents.
One issue is the construction-related closure of the road that runs across the dam, which would send traffic from Browns Gap Turnpike on a long detour via White Hall Road. “We’ve had some meetings and conversations with our consultants about closing that road and we are now thinking we can build a temporary road actually on the water side of the dam and maintain traffic during construction,” he said. “There was talk about building a detour road around the lower side of the dam that was going to be very difficult and expensive, but now we’re much more optimistic that we can build a road on the inside of the dam. We’ll keep you informed about that.”
Mawyer also discussed potential sites for the new raw water pumping station that will have to be located just off shore in the reservoir just above the dam. “At one time we were looking at a site adjacent to the Clark family’s property but we’ve done more research into the property, the topography, and the cost and now we’re focusing on two other sites [that sit closer to the dam], so hopefully that will work out.” The Natural Resources Conservation Service will also weigh in on the new site locations as the RWSA is asking that agency to foot 65% of the bill for the dam project.
As for Crozet’s water supply, Beaver Creek Reservoir’s water pool is currently two feet below normal levels, and is 85% full with about 430 million gallons of water (usable supply). The community’s water demand is 0.5 to 1.1 million gallons per day, and Mawyer said the reservoir currently holds about seven months’ worth of storage with no additional inflow.