Quarry will help meet future Fairfax water needs

fairfax water

Northern Virginia is going to be getting a new reservoir.  But it’s a S L O W process.  Getting a reservoir agreement signed has taken sixteen years.  Building it is going to take another seventy!

“Between 2010 and 2040 the population served by Fairfax Water, including both retail and wholesale areas, will increase by over 650,000 residents and nearly 550,000 employees working in the area,” according to Fairfax Water’s Chairman Philip Allin, chairman of Fairfax Water. So Fairfax Water and Vulcan Materials Company recently signed an agreement to convert Vulcan’s quarry, in Lorton, to a Fairfax Water reservoir.

When the conversion is complete the reservoir will be capable of holding up to 17 billion gallons of water.  The first phase of the project will begin in 2035, when Vulcan ends operations in the northern part of the quarry.  The remainder of the quarry will be transferred in 2085.

So, it’s unlikely that very many of us will drink water from the new reservoir.

The Potomac River provides approximately 78 percent of the water used in the D.C. region to about 4.5 million people. The remaining 22 percent is drawn from the Occoquan Reservoir in Virginia and the Patuxent River in Maryland, with a nominal amount drawn from groundwater.

The region also uses two reservoirs for daily use and as two backup supplies during droughts when the Potomac River stream flow is low. The new reservoir will provide significant additional storage in case we experience a regional drought.



About the Author

Ed Tobias
Ed Tobias brings more than four decades of reporting and news management experience to his work at FairfaxNews. Tobias managed news coverage for Associated Press Radio for over twenty years.  This included coverage of the 9/11 attacks, the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina, the death of Princess Diana, the Challenger and Columbia shuttle disasters and national election primaries, conventions and campaigns.  He was part of the team that built AP’s on-line video operation. Prior to joining AP, Tobias was News Director at all-news WTOP in Washington, D.C. He has won two Ohio State Awards for his reporting and producing and he led coverage that won an Edward R. Murrow Award.