Water update


Tasked with constructing an intake facility and about one mile of pipeline by the James River in Columbia, the JRWA is getting things done “in a very robust manner,” Nichols said.

Comprised of three members from Fluvanna and three from Louisa, the JRWA meets at 10:30 a.m. on the first Tuesday of every month at Spring Creek Sports Club in Zion Crossroads, and welcomes the public to attend.

So far the JRWA has dealt with several administrative tasks, such as creating and managing a water authority, hiring a lawyer, conducting analysis, and applying for a change of location for the withdrawal permit from the Bremo Bluff area to Columbia.  Nichols estimated the cost of moving the permit at around $250,000.  Right now the permit request is being evaluated by the Department of Environmental Quality, Nichols said, with an answer expected in early 2015.

The JRWA has received two proposals to design and build the JRWA project: one from English/Wiley-Wilson and the other from Faulconer/Timmons/MEB.  After meeting with each, the JRWA hopes to select one in October.  “Once the JRWA Board makes a recommendation,” Nichols said, “then we’ll be coming back to the two Boards of Supervisors with information and with costs.”

Right now the cost of the project is unknown.  The JRWA will determine overall project costs after negotiation with the design and build team, Nichols said.  Fluvanna and Louisa counties will split the costs of construction down the middle.  Operational costs, on the other hand, will be split according to usage.  So if Fluvanna uses 40 percent of the water, for example, it would pay 40 percent of the operating costs.

Nichols mentioned that some members of the public have asked what the intake will look like and how noisy it will be.  Photos and sound recordings of a similar station in Bear Island, Virginia, have been posted on the JRWA page on www.fluvannacounty.org.

“There are lots of unknowns still,” Nichols said of the JRWA pipeline project, “but it is moving right along.”

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