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General Information
Water and wastewater services are provided to Stafford residents by the Department of Utilities. The demand for services has increased approximately 2% for fiscal year 2016 and is projected to grow at least 1.5% to 2% per year. This growth is due to increased population and the need for new water and wastewater infrastructure to support current and future development. The department serves approximately 35,340 accounts. Approximately 2,240 of these are non-residential.

The department is responsible for the system within Stafford's service area. The service area consists of approximately 50,000 acres along three major transportation corridors: Interstate 95, U.S. Route 1, and U.S. Route 17. There are no private water and wastewater utilities within Stafford. The department has 139 full-time employees to provide overall planning, administration, customer service, daily inspection, and operation of the system, and yearly flushing of the system. All plant operators are fully-trained and licensed; the plants maintain an excellent safety record.

Water Supply
Water is primarily supplied by three reservoirs, Abel Lake, Smith Lake, and Lake Mooney. Abel Lake Reservoir is located in central Stafford and is impounded by Abel Lake Dam, an earthen embankment. Smith Lake Reservoir is located in northeastern Stafford on Aquia Creek and is impounded by Smith Lake Dam, an earthen embankment with a roller-compacted concrete emergency spillway. Lake Mooney is located in southern Stafford and is impounded by Lake Mooney Dam, an earthen embankment.  The combined safe yield is approximately 25.7 million gallons a day (mgd).

Water treatment is provided by the Smith Lake and Lake Mooney water treatment facilities. Smith Lake provides water to the northern region of Stafford and Lake Mooney, the southern. The output of both facilities meets or exceeds the standards prescribed by the Virginia Department of Health and the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1986. The transmission and distribution system is comprised of over 642 miles of pipe ranging in size from 2 to 30 inches in diameter. Water storage of 17.2 million gallons is provided by two ground storage tanks, two standpipes, and 11 elevated tanks. The system has six primary pumping stations, and six standby pumping stations.

Treatment Plants
Wastewater treatment is provided by two facilities: the Little Falls Run Wastewater Treatment Facility and the Aquia Wastewater Treatment Facility, with current permitted capacity of 8 mgd and 10.0 mgd, respectively. These were the first treatment facilities in the Northern Virginia area utilizing biological nutrient removal. Both utilize ultraviolet light disinfection and the low-load aeration system, which allows higher flow rates without adversely affecting treatment. The county has installed centrifuges to dewater the sludge, which is taken to the regional landfill. The wastewater collection and transmission system consists of approximately 521 miles of gravity sewers, 89 pump stations, and 57 miles of associated sewer force mains.