Supervisors mull water/sewer projects Pleasant Grove, Zion Crossroads

By Heather Michon

Infrastructure was on the agenda at the regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors Thursday night (June 20), delayed by one day due to the Juneteenth holiday.

Dan Villhauer and Ryal Bogese of Dewberry Engineering gave back-to-back presentations on water and wastewater projects currently under consideration by the county.

First up was their proposal for an engineering study on expanding water and sewer at Pleasant Grove.

The park has a list of capital improvement projects approved by the county that cannot proceed without increasing water capacity, including public restrooms and a splash pad. Grove House also needs upgrades.

The engineering study would look at the existing wells, identify potential new wells within the park, and investigate the feasibility of tapping into Fluvanna County High School’s well.

Bogese said the study would take around seven months at a cost of $39,685.

Depending on the study’s outcome, the project could take around three years to design and implement.

Chair Chris Fairchild (Cunningham) said a constituent had called to ask him if this was something that could be done by the county’s public utilities staff.

Director of Public Utilities Bobby Popowicz said he didn’t have the staffing, the expertise, or the equipment to execute a project of that size and complexity.

County Administrator Eric Dahl added that even if they had the staffing and expertise, “until we have the preliminary engineering report in place, we wouldn’t even know what to do.”

The motion to approve the engineering report passed 4-0, with Tim Hodge (Palmyra) absent for the evening.

The second proposal was for an engineering study focused on expanding wastewater systems in Zion Crossroads to prepare for the completion of the James River Water Project in 2027.

Bogese said the most viable option was expanding the existing wastewater facility at the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women (FCCW). 

Under an existing agreement, the county can utilize up to 100,000 gallons of wastewater capacity each day at the facility. However, that won’t be nearly enough when the new waterline is put into service.

Because Fluvanna is within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, constructing a separate treatment plant is likely out of the question. The state tightly regulates the permitting of new facilities in order to reduce the flow of harmful wastes into the watershed.

However, different rules apply to existing and state-run facilities. FCCW has the permits needed to handle the increased outflow.

The engineering study would take around nine months and cost $84,215. Design and construction could take around five years to complete.

“This is probably one of the most important things you can do to ensure that you have the continued capacity for growth,” said Villhauser.


Customers in the Fork Union Sanitary District (FUSD) are going to see increased rates starting in the July billing cycle.

The minimum charge will increase from $21 to $24. This base rate includes 2,000 gallons of usage per month. For customers using over 2,000 per month, rates will increase $0.22 per 1,000 gallons. 

Most of FUSD’s 498 customers will see an increase of $3 to $3.22 per month, and the estimated increase in annual revenue will be around $20,000.

For new connections to the FUSD system, the charge will increase from $4,500 to $6,500. 

This will be the first rate increase in 10 years – but it may not be the last.

As the system ages and requires more repairs, Mike Sheridan (Columbia) said they might need to start looking at the rates every two years or so to help keep up with costs. 

Mike Goad (Fork Union) asked Popowicz to send out a mailer to FUSD customers sometime in July to inform them that they would see the rate increase in the bills sent out in August. 

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