Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority

(RWSA) has voted to increase the wholesale water and wastewater rates for fiscal year 2009. These are the rates charged by the RWSA to the City of Charlottesville and the

Albemarle County Service Authority

(ACSA). Both bodies will set their rates for residences and businesses in the near future.

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For water, the City of Charlottesville will be charged $2.285 per 1,000 gallons, an increase of 2.65%.  The Albemarle County Service Authority’s rate will be $2.983 per  1,000 gallons, an increase of 2.44%.

For wastewater, the City of Charlottesville will be charged $2.466 per 1,000 gallons treated, an increase of 10.45%. The rate for the Albemarle County Service Authority will be $2.722 per 1,000 gallons, an increase of 10.54%.

The rate increases are in part due to infrastructure upgrades associated with the community water supply plan, as well as the Enhanced Nutrient Removal upgrades for the Moores Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Tom Frederick

“We’re continuing to support a very challenging capital budget that addresses aging infrastructure, needs at the wastewater treatment facility for higher levels of treatment and the community water supply plan,” Frederick said. “The single biggest item is the planning that we are doing… on renewing the urban wastewater interceptor infrastructure.”

Board members Judy Mueller and Gary O’Connell disqualified themselves from the portion of the vote that  affected the City of Charlottesville. Gary Fern disqualified himself from the portion of the vote that concerned Albemarle County.  State law requires government employees to refrain from taking action on items that would affect the budget for the municipality or agency they work for.  Mueller is the City’s Public Works Director, O’Connell is the City Manager, and Fern is the Executive Director for the Albemarle  Service Authority. County Executive Bob Tucker did not disqualify himself.

Hook Publisher suggests new dredging solution

During items from the public, Hook editor and published Hawes Spencer asked if the RWSA Board had seen his latest article suggesting another proposal for the dredging of the South Fork Rivanna Reservoir. Spencer said the permit issued in February by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) requires the RWSA to notify regulators when information about other options comes to light.

“[Dominion Development Resources LLC] is offering to do a complete dredging of the [South Fork] Rivanna Reservoir for $23.8 million,” Spencer said. “Do you intend to notify the DEQ that your consultant [Gannett Fleming] might have been wrong?”

Spencer also asked the Board if they intended to issue a Request for Proposals to dredge the Reservoir. RWSA Chair Michael Gaffney said the Board would take his comments into consideration.

RWSA grants $10,000 to Stream Watch

The RWSA Board has increased the yearly amount it will give to Stream Watch, a non-profit organization that monitors the health of waterways in the Rivanna River Basin.  StreamWatch will now receive $10,000 each year, an increase from $7,500. The amounts are now in line with contributions from the City of Charlottesville ($10,000), Albemarle County ($10,800) and the Nature Conservancy ($10,000). Fluvanna County contributes $3,000 a year.

Frederick said StreamWatch provides many benefits to the RWSA, including the analysis of sedimentation in local streams. “It helps provide a benchmark from which public policy decisions are made,” he said.  He added that StreamWatch performs many of the same monitoring functions that were once done by the DEQ.

StreamWatch Executive Director said the extra funding was requested to help provide organizational stability. The agency’s annual budget is $50,000.


Sean Tubbs


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