Reception and Open House for Joint Water Treatment Facility
Reception and Open House for Joint Water Treatment Facility
August 5, 2017
Moneta, Va. (May 8, 2017) – An open house and reception will be held on Thursday, May 11th for the grand opening of the Smith Mountain Lake Water Treatment Facility. This celebration marks the opening of the first jointly owned and operated water treatment facility in Virginia.
“I’ve watched this project grow from just an idea many years ago, to drawings on paper, to now this magnificent facility that we now can walk through,” said Elmer Hodge, Bedford Regional Water Authority Board of Directors Chair. “This is a project that not only should all parties who were involved in creating this be proud of, but the community as well. This really shows how working together between neighboring water authorities can benefit the region at large.”
The event begins at 1:30pm at the facility located at 1500 Radford Church Road in Moneta. The event will be kicked off by speakers by the Bedford Regional Water Authority (“BRWA”), the Western Virginia Water Authority (“WVWA”), and Black & Veatch. The speeches will be followed by a ceremonial water toast and tours of the facility.
The BRWA and the WVWA signed an agreement May 7, 2014 to work together to develop a new water treatment facility at Smith Mountain Lake. This new facility was designed with expansion capabilities to meet both utilities’ joint water needs through the year 2060.
“This facility helps the community now, and it will continue to be seen as a benefit for the community down the road,” said Donald Davis, WVWA Board of Directors Chair. “In the future, I feel that people will look back and say that Western Virginia Water Authority working together with the Bedford Regional Water Authority to design and build this facility was a bold decision that enabled future generations and businesses to have the reliable water supply that they need, eliminated duplication of resources and minimized environmental impacts by only constructing one building.”
Under the partnership concept, the two water authorities equally share the ownership and the operation of the new Smith Mountain Lake Water Treatment Facility. This is a 3-million gallon per day treatment facility that can be expanded to 6-million gallons per day within the framework of the new building.
The Regional Long Range Water Supply Plan recommended expanding the treatment and distribution of drinking water from Smith Mountain Lake to meet the growing water needs within the region by 2060. This new facility will allow for the drinking water and fire protection needs of current and future customer to be met. The reversion agreement for the Town of Bedford also stipulated that the BRWA provide a backup source to the Town of Bedford by December 2016, and this facility meets that need.
The Smith Mountain Lake Water Treatment Facility is the culmination of seven years of planning and 19 months of construction. There have been countless meetings, emails, and phone calls the Authorities have shared over the years, pooling ideas and working through differences to come together in mutual agreeance and pride over the water treatment facility that now provides safe drinking water for over 14,500 customers across 1,400 square miles across two large, rural counties and one town.
The facility was constructed as a progressive design/build agreement with Black & Veatch and Overland Contracting. CHA is the engineering consulting firm that is the local design/build representative for the project. This project has incorporated the unique experience of creating a facility through a design build team that employed 46 Virginia based contractors that included 190 craftsmen (with over 200,000 hours without accident). The result is a state of the art water treatment system that is one of only 14 of its type in Virginia.
This membrane plant has 216 modules that each have 10,000 membrane filter strands to provide the unique water treatment capability. The membranes can filter out particles larger than 0.02 Microns. One Micron is equivalent to one one-thousandth of a millimeter. The facility also houses over 3,000 feet of water pipe, one million feet of electrical and communication wiring, and 100,000 feet of conduit. However, just to get water to the plant from the raw water intake at Smith Mountain Lake, over 13,000 feet of pipe was installed.
The Raw Water Intake is permitted to take 12 million gallons per day from the Lake. Currently, only about two-million gallons a day are needed from the intake to supply the need of the customer base. The process of building the intake was notable, with cranes and divers needed to install the 30-inch diameter screens in the lake which are connected to two 18-inch pipes. Two pumps are also installed in the lake to feed the water from the lake, into the pipes, and up the hill to the treatment facility.
Smith Mountain Lake is a very viable and clean source of water for the region. Thankfully the facility does not need to compete with water needs from recreational users or residents at the lake. More water is actually lost to daily evaporation than what is pumped from the lake for drinking water treatment. The average amount of water lost to evaporation from the lake is 0.23 inches a day, while the lake level is only dropped 0.0011 inches for each one-million gallons a day pumped from the lake for drinking water treatment. Also, during times of drought there are restrictions put upon water production and usage; this ensures that the water facility and the lake residents are both able to use the water as a drinking water supply and enjoy the lake recreationally.
Milestones of Project:
· December 17, 2013 – Entered contract with OCI (Black & Veatch) for Phase 1 Services (Design)
· May 8, 2014 – WVWA and BRWA sign agreement to jointly own and operate facility
· December 16, 2014 – Entered contract with GE for membrane purchase
· July 24, 2015 – Entered contract with OCI (Black & Veatch) for Phase 2 Services (Construction)
· September 8, 2015 – Groundbreaking ceremony to mark the beginning of construction
· December 19, 2016 – Raw Water Intake begins operation
· April 6, 2017 – Water production begins at plant
· May 11, 2017 – Reception and open house at new facility