Rt. 10 water line bumps Windsor

Published 1:23 pm Wednesday, October 26, 2016


By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

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The Isle of Wight County Board of Supervisors agreed Thursday to build the Route 10 water line before the line that is to run to the intermodal park along Route 460.

Both lines are designed to use water available from the Norfolk water deal.

The change in timing is due to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality reducing groundwater withdrawals, increased growth in the northern end of the county and the potential for water sitting stagnant in the Route 460 line until a heavy water user comes to the intermodal park, according to county officials. 

The Route 10 water line would also provide an additional water delivery point and provide an emergency connection to the populous northern end of the county.

Isle of Wight County was supposed to have the Route 460 water line built by 2018 as part of its deal with Keurig Green Mountain Coffee.

The town of Windsor currently supplies water to Keurig Green Mountain.

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Isle of Wight has drafted a letter to DEQ to alert the agency that the county will continue to need water from the town of Windsor beyond 2018, and has asked the state not to reduce the town’s water withdrawal permit or at least space it out over a longer period of time, said Smithfield District Supervisor Dick Grice, adding that the county receives about 220,000 gallons a day from the town.

Windsor’s groundwater withdrawal permit is currently under review. DEQ has asked Windsor to reduce its permitted amount from 597,000 gallons a day to 466,200 gallons a day.

Grice said the delay in providing water to the intermodal park should not keep potential tenants from coming to Isle of Wight.

It would take 18 months to two years for a company to do all that is necessary to set up shop, and the county could get the water line built in that time frame, Grice said, adding that the preliminary engineering work has been completed.

However, if the Route 460 line was built prior to enough users being available to keep the water flowing, the system would require periodic flushing to prevent the buildup of stagnant water, Grice said.

Because the water would be treated, it would either have to be flushed through the sewer system or held in a pond — all expensive options, Grice said.

The Route 10 water line would run from the Suffolk city line to the southern edge of Benn’s Grant. The project is estimated to cost about $3.5 – $4 million.

The Benn’s Grant developer would pay for the water line located within the development’s boundaries and to connect it to the existing water line along Brewers Neck Boulevard.

The line that currently supplies the Newport Developmental Service District runs along Route 17 and under the Sidney Bertram Hazelwood Sr. Bridge, also known as the Crittenden Bridge.

The line, which was installed in 2002, is the only water line connecting Isle of Wight to Suffolk’s system. It is exposed to the elements and is not easily accessible, according to Al Moor, director of public utilities for the city of Suffolk.

If the line were damaged, repairs could take days, leaving the northern end of the county without a water supply from the Suffolk system and a limited supply from Isle of Wight County’s elevated tank on Route 258, according to Moor.

This would also have a major impact on fire protection in that area.  In addition, as growth continues around the Newport Service District the existing 16-inch main will become limited in meeting the area’s maximum daily demands, according to Moor.

Isle of Wight receives water from Suffolk as part of the Western Tidewater Water Authority, of which the two localities are the only members. 

Along with the burgeoning Benn’s Grant and other developments in the area, Isle of Wight also has another industrial park along Route 10, Grice said.

The Route 460 water line was part of the original impetus for the Norfolk water deal, which was signed in 2009. It was to supply water to what was expected — at the time — to a rapidly expanding intermodal park and the growth that would accompany that development.

That has not yet occurred.

Instead there was the Great Recession, followed by the demise of plans for an expanded, high speed Route 460 from Suffolk to Petersburg, along with competition for industrial development from other localities.

Currently, there are three companies located in the intermodal park — Cost Plus World Market, Keurig Green Mountain and Safco.

Over the years, Isle of Wight has invested several million dollars purchasing land and developing infrastructure in the intermodal park, with its latest efforts being to develop pad ready sites — meaning the site has been prepared with grading, drainage, utilities and stormwater.

While the intermodal park was originally envisioned as a place to support the Port of Virginia with warehouse and distribution space, the target industries have since been expanded.