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Water study grant flows

The small town of Virgilina is booming, and big things are beginning to happen with a new Family Dollar store opening earlier this month and a new gas station in the works.

Updating the town’s water system is one of the next items on the town’s to-do list, and last month the town was awarded a $50,000 planning grant to get that ball rolling.

According to Mayor Ralph Murray, after four years of applying for grants from the VDH Financial and Construction Assistance Programs Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, the town has received a $50,000 grant to study the three-decade-old water system to see what improvement are most needed.

The terms of the grant agreement expire in 15 months. 

The town’s water system dates back to 1976 and is in dire need of upgrades, according to the mayor.

The study, to be led by Stephen Steele of CHA Consultants, is in the beginning stages, Murray said.

Projects included in the study include base mapping, hydraulic modeling, a system evaluation, a cost estimate, leak detection and a preliminary engineering report.

  Base mapping is estimated to cost $8,000 and will involve developing mapping of the existing water distribution based on staff knowledge and existing data. Base mapping is set to begin March 15 and end April 15.

A total of $7,000 is estimated for the hydraulic model development phase of the study, which entails using the water distribution system mapping to develop a hydraulic model. 

Hydraulic model development is set to began April 15 and end May 15.

The system evaluation phase of the study is estimated to cost another $8,000 and will involve using base mapping and the hydraulic model to evaluate the distribution system for available pressure and flow, effective storage, water age and overall system efficiency. This phase is set to begin May 15 and end June 15.

It’s estimated that $6,000 will be spent on a cost estimate for the list of recommended improvements. Development of a cost estimate will begin June 15 and end July 1.

An estimated $15,000 is anticipated to be spent on leak detection to evaluate the condition of the existing system. Leak detection is scheduled to begin April 15 and end May 15.

The preliminary engineering report incorporating all the phases of the study is estimated to cost $6,000. Work on the report will begin May 15 and end on July 15.

The town is expected to submit the report to the Danville field office for review and approval between July and September of 2014.

According to Murray, once the study is completed, and they are able to see what improvements need to be made to the system they will seek other grants to help them finance the improvements. 

The system currently serves at least 130 Virgilina residents, and Murray said once updates on the water system are complete, they plan to move on to address sewer improvements.