WCSA’s strategic plan includes infrastructure and employment goals for ensuring continued service to Washington County residents
Last year, WCSA initiated a strategic planning process to create an organizational vision and framework for accomplishing our long-term goals. These goals are driven by several critical success factors and will guide our course of action in meeting our customers’ needs, both now and in the future. The plan’s first two goals include maintaining a reliable infrastructure and recruiting, developing and retaining a best-in-class team.
WCSA impacts the health of more people in Washington County than all of the combined greater healthcare community. The residents, businesses, tourism and industrial parks in Washington County, Virginia, and surrounding areas depend on WCSA’s expansive network of water and wastewater pipelines.
One difficulty in serving a rural community is the distance water must travel to reach a customer. Washington County’s mountainous topography introduces a further challenge to WCSA’s distribution system, with an elevation change spanning 1,698 feet above sea level to 5,520 feet above sea level — a vertical range of 3,822 feet.
In order to provide a safe, dependable supply of drinking water from multiple sources for more than 21,500 connections in a region with such varying elevations, WCSA utilizes a 900-mile network of pipelines, 26 water storage tanks, 28 pumping stations, 50 pressure zones, and more than 1,600 fire hydrants. In addition, an environmentally safe water reclamation service, utilizing 100 miles of pipeline and 29 pumping stations, provides wastewater to approximately 2,500 connections.
Although working to extend public water to unserved communities continues to be a top priority, WCSA has a mature water system that demands the majority of our resources. WCSA’s continued investment in the maintenance and replacement of existing and aging infrastructure, along with new infrastructure in unserved areas, ensures our ability to meet the needs of our customers, both now and in the future.
Maintaining the proper infrastructure also requires a top-notch team. WCSA has an outstanding and experienced workforce; however, approximately 40% of our staff is eligible for retirement within the next few years, and WCSA is challenged with recruiting employees with the dedication and necessary skills for the work we perform. A focus on attracting, training, motivating and rewarding exceptional employees is crucial for continued achievement.
A number of challenges face WCSA as we look ahead, including continuing to meet the needs of an aging water system and employing exceptional personnel. The strategic plan addresses these challenges, helps guide investment and allocation of resources, and provides a road map for the most optimal solutions to achieve our goals and objectives, both current and future.