By Connie Chang

Charlottesville Tomorrow

Monday, October 12, 2009

On October 5, 2009, Tom Frederick, Executive Director of the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority, provided the Charlottesville City Council with a status report on several items related to the community water supply plan. Frederick commented on the costs and logistics of repairing the existing lower dam at the Ragged Mountain Reservoir, as well as the proposed pipeline to connect the Ragged Mountain and South Fork Rivanna Reservoirs.

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Frederick also reviewed the work that is being undertaken by Schnabel Engineering to design a replacement dam at Ragged Mountain, as envisioned in the 2006 community water supply plan.  Schnabel, based in Glen Allen, Virginia, was awarded a $1.3 million contract in September for preliminary engineering.  The goal is to secure a new design and a new cost estimate for construction of the dam by late spring of 2010.


01:00 – Tom Frederick provides status report

02:06 – Frederick reports on new dam design firm, Schnabel Engineering

04:28 – Frederick reports on asking firm whether they can provide ballpark cost for lower-height dam

06:46 – Mayor Dave Norris asks why Gannett Fleming said it would cost a fraction to repair the existing Lower Ragged Mountain Dam and why Schnabel says it will cost more

09:54 – Frederick explains discrepancy between two firms’ cost estimates

10:10 – Councilor David Brown asks whether they are referring to repairing the dam or making it taller

10:42 – Norris comments that Gannett Fleming provided an estimate for enlarging the dam

11:13 – Frederick comments on consistent reporting

12:33 – Frederick says the idea of raising the dam can be studied if they want to

12:55 – Norris asks for an estimate of how much that study would cost

14:27 – Frederick discusses relationship between the size of the proposed pipeline from South Fork to Ragged Mountain and the storage required in of all reservoirs

16:28 – Norris asks whether projections are based on current water demand and a 5% conservation rate

17:49 – Frederick describes Hydrologics’ model

18:55 – Frederick describes Gannett Fleming’s model

19:17 – Norris asks about 20% conservation rate achieved during drought emergency

20:20 – Norris comments that he believes they can plan for lower water consumption than what is envisioned in the current plan

21:15 – Norris asks whether his assumption that lower water consumption can lower average flow is correct

21:51 – Brown asks whether Frederick has any comments on discussion that water consumption is lower

22:30 – Frederick responds

24:25 – Frederick comments on third study, a water conservation study has been completed

24:47 – Norris comments that that study is still in progress

25:05 – Frederick comments on fourth item, a conceptual review of the assumptions of the conceptual design of the pipeline

26:08 – Norris asks for clarification about the proposed routing for the South Fork pipeline

29:30 – Norris asks whether they will evaluate the projected costs of land acquisition

30:05 – Frederick comments on fifth item, dredging feasibility studies

30:17 – Frederick comments on sixth item, pros and cons of three pipelines (South Fork to Ragged Mountain, Sugar Hollow to Ragged Mountain, James River to Ragged Mountain)

31:06 – Norris comments that it will be helpful to compare options by costs

32:00 – Frederick comments on being able to provide lengths of each pipeline

32:38 – Norris comments on trying to get the most accurate estimate on costs and factoring in the renegotiation of easements for a replacement Sugar Hollow pipeline

33:40 – Brown comments that he believes RWSA will find a proper estimate

34:57 – Frederick comments that they can have a consultant do a conceptual design and cost estimate for the update

35:38 – Brown comments that he’d like to see RWSA provide information on how much they can spend and what they can get with it

36:25 – Norris asks Frederick to comment on I-64 embankment being separated out

39:33 – Norris asks where we are now on cost-share allocation of city versus county

39:50 – City Manager Gary O’Connell responds that he can’t give solid numbers

41:00 – Julian Taliaferro asks whether maintenance is a part of the cost estimate

41:22 – Judy Mueller responds

43:04 – Norris asks how confident Frederick is in the current projections of costs to upgrade treatments plants and related infrastructure


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