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Strategic Planning Guides WCSA’s Current Course of Action for Ensuring Long-Term Provision of Services to Washington County Customers

Nov 17, 2022 | Featured, News

Washington County, Virginia’s residents, businesses and industrial parks depend on WCSA’s expansive network of water and wastewater pipelines for their daily needs. One of the biggest challenges for WCSA’s distribution system, however, is the distance water must travel to reach a customer. Washington County’s mountainous topography offers an elevation range that rises from 1,594 feet above sea level at Mendota to 2,523 feet above sea level at Taylors Valley — a water pressure variance of 399 pounds per square inch.

In order to provide a safe, dependable supply of drinking water from multiple sources for nearly 24,800 active and inactive connections, WCSA utilizes a 900-mile network of pipelines, 26 water storage tanks, 28 pumping stations, 50 pressure zones, and 1,800 fire hydrants. In addition, an environmentally safe water reclamation service, utilizing 100 miles of pipeline and 31 pumping stations, provides wastewater to approximately 2,300 connections. 

Current Water Infrastructure

Includes 24,785 connections 

  • 1,800 fire hydrants
  • 900 miles of pipeline
  • 50 pressure zones
  • 28 pumping stations
  • 26 water storage tanks
  • 2 water treatment plants

Current Wastewater Infrastructure

Includes 2,300 connections

  • 100 miles of pipeline
  • 31 pumping stations
  • 2 wastewater treatment plants

To help guide our course of action for continuing to provide these services to both current and future customers, WCSA initiated a strategic planning process a few years ago to create an organizational vision and framework for accomplishing our long-term goals. While a number of these strategies for achieving WCSA’s goals are continuous,ongoing processes, they have already resulted in measurable success. Two of the largest and most complex strategies are feasible and sustainable growth and maintaining a reliable infrastructure.

Working to extend public water to unserved communities through new infrastructure continues to be a top priority. As part of the strategic plan, WCSA identified several areas of need within the community for water and wastewater services. Areas for which funding has been procured and are currently being addressed include:

  • Abrams Falls Road
  • Fleenors Memorial Road
  • Green Springs Road
  • Hobbs Road
  • Lee Highway Corridor
  • Mary’s Chapel Road
  • Mendota Road
  • Monroe Road
  • Prices Bridge Road
  • Taylor Valley Road

“WCSA serves approximately 90% of Washington County’s residents,” says Robbie Cornett, general manager of WCSA. “Over the past three decades, the utility has invested more than $120 million in infrastructure and improvements. These capital upgrades have required significant foresight and planning to bring WCSA to its current position of operational strength, all in support of our mission of providing excellent, affordable, environmentally responsible water and wastewater service.”

Maintaining a reliable infrastructure is no light task, either. WCSA has a mature water system that demands the majority of our resources. Strategies in place and/or now completed to sustain and improve the system include:

  • Regularly scheduled monitoring of critical assets and preventative maintenance
  • Continuous monitoring for any changes in water and wastewater quality
  • Focusing on watershed protection, including source water management
  • Investment in reliable process-monitoring technology
  • Designating staff members to respond to complex distribution system problems
  • Assigning designated maintenance crews for system monitoring and repairs
  • Replacing meters system-wide and implementing AMI (advanced metering infrastructure) network

“As a result of these strategies, leaks and other challenges have been greatly reduced, and WCSA continues to meet or exceed all permit requirements,” Cornett says. “Our continued investment in the maintenance and replacement of existing and aging infrastructure ensures our ability to meet the needs of our customers, both now and in the future.”