One of the biggest stories of the Coronavirus epidemic has been the shortage of toilet paper and the subsequent pipe issues caused by people using wipes and other substitutes. Stafford County has been no exception, and personnel from Public Works have been working night and day to ensure these clogs do not interfere with the continued delivery of high-quality water to our residents. As well, the department has continued with its many major infrastructure projects, while emphasizing social distancing, in an effort to provide clean water, the foundation to preventing the spread of COVID-19.
“Our mission is to meet the needs of our customers for high quality, clean water today and into the future,” said Bryon Counsell, Deputy Director of Capital Engineering and Construction. “Our staff has been working harder than ever during this crisis, managing the impacts of Coronavirus and continuing work on capital projects like the Lower Accokeek sewage pumping project, which expands capacity by three million gallons a day.”
Before the Coronavirus pandemic even reached Stafford County, Public Works planned for how to maintain continuity of operations. Supervisors were trained by Fire and Rescue personnel in taking the necessary hygiene precautions – using masks, hand sanitizer and washing hands. Keeping staff well was crucial because of the specialized skills required by plant operators and line crews. Indeed, when the inevitable backups occurred because of clogs caused by the usage of wipes and other toilet paper alternatives, crews and operators were busy, using their training to avoid damage to expensive infrastructure.
Crews have continued during the quarantine to work on several infrastructure projects designed to meet the needs of a growing population. Recently, Public Works completed the “punch list” of final environmental mitigation items on the construction of its most significant infrastructure project in the history of Stafford County – Lake Mooney, an extensive project 20 years in the making. The Lake Mooney Water Treatment Facility currently pumps about 1.8 billion gallons of water to the county. The reservoir holds 5.5 billion gallons of water and sits behind a 118 feet tall dam that is more than 1,200 feet in length.
Other notable, ongoing water infrastructure projects that improve the safety and quality of drinking water in Stafford County include:
- Lower Accokeek Project which expands capacity with the construction of a three million gallon-per-day sewage pumping station and over 20,000 feet of pipelines;
- Route 1, Wayside Sewer Interceptor project which installs over 5,000 feet of sewer lines to serve growing development in the Courthouse area;
- Pressure Zone Upgrade Project that improves and upgrades the county water system by installing over 6,500 feet of water main in South Stafford.
To learn more about these projects as well as other ongoing Utilities Construction Projects, visit https://staffordcountyva.gov/2039/Utilities-Construction-Projects.