Flowing toward the future

At a board meeting March 26 [download meeting agenda in PDF], the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority voted to approve an ambitious five-year capital-improvement plan that will prepare the area for the development—and ensuing waste—that’s to come. “We are presently challenged by the need for infrastructure improvements with respect to aging existing assets, more stringent expectations, and future service requirements,” RWSA Director Tom Frederick wrote in a memo.

Total projected costs in the five-year plan are just over $118 million. Frederick highlights the three biggest projects: the community water supply plan, at $42.1 million (including over $28 million for construction of a new Ragged Mountain dam), updates to the Moore’s Creek Waste Water Treatment Plant, at a projected cost of $44.3 million, and sewer infrastructure, especially the Meadow Creek Interceptor.

Citizens voiced concerns in February at an RWSA board meeting on the capital improvement plan, saying planned developments would push infrastructure past its limits.

For example, the impact of the planned 3,100-unit Biscuit Run on nearby Moore’s Creek Interceptor is currently being analyzed. Biscuit Run’s developers would contract to pay for some of the Moore’s Creek improvements through the Albemarle County Sewer Authority, depending on the results of an impact study. [See above for more on Biscuit Run.]

But most funds in the five-year plan are coming from revenues from the city and county in metered water sales and sewer-service charges. Proffers from developers have “not been a big part of the authority’s budget in past years,” Frederick says.

The RWSA has also set aside funds for a Comprehensive Sewer Interceptor study to start computer monitoring sewage and identifying shortfalls. No surprise, areas that are the most strained are those most affected by growth and development.

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