WORK SESSION AGENDA REQUEST
Sharon McCamy, Vice-Chair, Lee District
August 19, 2002
Board of Supervisors
Person Making Request
Anthony I. Hooper, Assistant County Administrator
Lead & Department
Botha Affordable Housing
For a number of
years the County, Fauquier Housing Corporation, and Fauquier Habitat for
Humanity have been working to develop an affordable housing subdivision at
Botha. Funds have been
provided to the County under a Community Development Block grant for
construction of the street, water system septic systems and storm water
management facilities to support the 17-lot subdivision.
The two non-profit agencies have received grants and gifts and will
be responsible for construction of the individual dwelling units and
selection of low to moderate income households to reside in the single
additional efforts have focused on efforts to ensure a safe and adequate
supply of water. The issue of
developing an adequate water supply has been a critical portion of the
project for a number of years. Emery
and Garrett and ENSAT conducted hydrological studies.
Based on the results of this work and approval of Botha well #5 by
the Virginia Health Department, a grant application was submitted and
approved to develop a subdivision served by a public water supply.
Working in cooperation with the Water and Sanitation Authority, a
resolution was adopted by the Authority in February 1998 to own and
operate the system consistent with rules and regulations.
As a part of the plan, the County was to provide a five-year
warranty of the water systemís well and well pump.
In late 2001, as
work was proceeding with seeking Health Department approval of the water
systems, water tests showed an elevated level of nitrates of 9.31 mg/l.
The State standard is 10 mg/l and previous testing in earlier years
had shown nitrate levels in the range of 5 mg/l.
WSA became concerned about this higher test result and sought the
review of Emery and Garrett. Since the County wanted to assure that a safe and reliable
source of water was available, other steps were taken. The water was re-sampled with lower readings in the range of
6.75 mg/l. At this juncture,
it was determined that it would be prudent to explore other water
resources on adjacent property to
provide a supplemental or replacement resource.
Emery and Garrett was engaged to identify other possible well sites
and, recently, the installation of a test-well on adjoining property
failed to produce positive results. At
the same time, the Botha well was retested and samples taken from the
existing nearby wells to determine more about the nitrate issue. All of these most recent tests documented ranges of nitrate
readings below 3.0.
In continuing to
work with the WSA on this matter, concern has been expressed regarding the
nitrate issue as it relates to the financial viability of the project.
The WSA is concerned that if nitrate levels should increase in the
future then it would be necessary to install treatment capacity.
At estimated annual operating expenses of $12,000, this would
dramatically increase rates over the small rate base of 17 homes and
thereby impact the financial polices of WSA.
The added monthly increase of approximately $59.00 would place
water bills near $100.00 a month, making it difficult for the Botha
Therefore, WSA has
proposed that the County maintain ownership of the system during the first
five years, or less, once operating experience confirms that it will not
be necessary to provide treatment to reduce the nitrate reading.
The Virginia Health
Department is prepared to approve the well. Ideally, a back-up
water resource would be beneficial since it would provide added insurance
of an adequate and safe water supply.
The County, in cooperation with WSA, will continue to seek
supplemental sources as other opportunities may be developed in the
of water supply issue.
Funds from the
Utility Fund have been made available to test, develop and explore other
water resources to supplement the existing well.
IDENTIFY ANY OTHER DEPARTMENTS,
ORGANIZATIONS OR INDIVIDUALS THAT WOULD BE AFFECTED BY THIS REQUEST:
Habitat for Humanity
Fauquier County Water and Sanitation Authority