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October 21, 2008

ACSA prepares to build $10.7 million pump station to replace aging Camelot facility

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NFRPS-per-plans
Preliminary design drawing created by Whitman, Requardt & Associates

The Albemarle County Service Authority (ACSA) is proceeding with plans to replace the aging Camelot Wastewater Treatment Plant with a $10.7 million North Fork Regional Pump Station. The ACSA’s Board of Directors has approved the spending of $105,000 to conduct a topographic study of the general area where the facility is to be located. The cost of the project will be split between developers and ACSA ratepayers, though the distribution of those costs has not yet been finalized.

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At the ACSA’s Board of Directors meeting on October 16, 2008, Executive Director Gary Fern presented the preliminary engineering report developed by the firm Whitman, Requardt & Associates. The new pump station would send wastewater to the Powell Creek Interceptor that is maintained by the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority (RWSA). However, the future capacity of that sewer line is still being evaluated by the RWSA, which could force a further revision to the plans for the North Fork pump station. 

Planning for the North Fork Pump Station dates back to 1992, when an agreement was signed between the ACSA, the RWSA and several development interests to provide wastewater service in Albemarle County’s northern development area via the Camelot facility. The interests included Woodbriar Associates, the UVA Real Estate Foundation, and the Gold Leaf Trust. Under the terms of the agreement, the ACSA and the RWSA were required to develop a plan for future wastewater capacity when Camelot reached 80% capacity, that plan was to be implemented when capacity reached 90%.

However, a report released in late 2007 by engineering firm Hazen & Sawyer states that Camelot is at 100% capacity. In March 2008, the RWSA Board of Directors endorsed a plan  to extend the life of the Camelot for another two years at a cost of $385,000.  That has meant that additional construction cannot occur until the additional sewer capacity is ready.

Camelot currently handles 130,000 gallons of wastewater a day (GPD) for customers who are north of the North Fork of the Rivanna River.  However, Fern said that in the near-term, the capacity to handle as much as 220,000 GPD is required to accommodate the expansion of the Briarwood subdivision, two office buildings in UVA’s North Fork Research Park town center, two new office buildings near the National Ground  Intelligence Center (NGIC), an office building to be used by the Joint Use Intelligence Analysis Facility as well as an addition to the existing NGIC facility.  The upgrades to Camelot will allow those structures to be connected, but no further additional capacity can be granted unless the North Fork Pump Station is built.

The firm Greeley and Hansen are working with the RWSA on the study of the future capacity needs for its interceptors, which deliver wastewater to the Moores Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. Fern said they have suggested three alternatives to handle the future capacity needs of the northern development area. They are a gravity-fed sewer line would run along the Rivanna River, a new wastewater treatment facility to replace Camelot, or a new regional pump station to feed into the Powell Creek Interceptor. Greeley and Hansen have recommended the pump station option.

Developers in the northern development area have been asked by the ACSA to produce estimated wastewater flows for the future. By 2012, the anticipated flows are expected to reach 500,000 GPD. By 2030 that number jumps to 1.7 MGPD (million gallons per day), and by 2060 the anticipated flows are expected to reach 2.1 MGPD.  

20081017-Fern-ACSA
Gary Fern describes how the North Fork Regional Pump Station would fit in with the ACSA wastewater system

Those numbers increase when development to the south of the North Fork of the Rivanna is factored in, including the North Pointe development. Fern said the ACSA is now proposing pumping wastewater from the southern side of the river initially through a 6” “force main” which would utilize an existing pipe that currently routes wastewater in the other direction from the UVA North Fork Research park to the Camelot WWTP. That line would need to be upgraded by 2012 to 12” to accommodate the additional capacity required for 2030. A 16” force main would be laid along Route 29 to connect the new pump station to the Powell Creek Interceptor.

Further questions to be answered include how to lay the sewer lines through the North Pointe development to get that wastewater to the North Fork Regional Pump Station. Fern said that can’t be fully designed until the site plans for North Pointe become more clear.

The initial pump station project is expected to provide enough capacity until the year 2030.  Whitman and Requardt are recommending the NFRPS be constructed near the existing Research Park Pump Station. An 16” force main would carry wastewater south to connect to the Powell Creek Interceptor.

However, Fern mentioned one important caveat to the pump station project.  He said it is not clear if the Powell Creek Interceptor can handle the additional capacity. That will not be known until the RWSA interceptor study being conducted by Greeley and Hansen is complete around the first of the year.
Closer to the year 2030, a decision will have to be made on whether to upgrade the pump station to accommodate anticipated capacity, or whether a gravity sewer line could be constructed along the Rivanna River.

The preliminary engineering report will be complete in November, with design and permitting scheduled to occur by May 2009. Fern said he hoped construction could be completed by August 2010.

Sean Tubbs

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