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The Hanover County Department of Public Utilities owns, operates, and maintains public water and wastewater systems to supply water and wastewater services to a growing number of County customers. The Department of Public Utilities partnered with Dewberry in 2004 to update their Water and Wastewater Facilities Master Plan in order to ensure continued high quality water and wastewater service to its customers.

The updated Water and Wastewater Facilities Master Plan (Plan) was developed to provide the Department of Public Utilities with a “road map” for planning improvements, upgrades, extensions, and expansions to meet future needs and to maintain cost-effective, environmentally-sound water and wastewater service through the Year 2022. This includes planning for all water and wastewater facilities within the Suburban Service Area (SSA), which is the area of the County in which it is planned to make public water and sewer serve available to allow for higher density development to occur. Water system facilities that were evaluated as part of the Plan include supplies from wells and surface water treatment plants, and a distribution system consisting of approximately 300 miles of water lines up to 36 inches in diameter. Wastewater system facilities that were evaluated include 3 wastewater treatment facilities, a wastewater collection system comprised of 288 miles of gravity sanitary sewer, and 38 wastewater pump stations.

The Hanover County Department of Public Utilities and Dewberry representatives utilized a series of up-front project workshops with representatives of County departments, including Public Utilities, Public Works, Planning, Finance, and Economic Development, in order to achieve consensus for the methodologies that were used to develop the Facilities Master Plan and to ensure that the results of the Facilities Master Plan were consistent with Hanover County's Comprehensive Plan.

State-of-the-art water and sewer models were developed and updated to incorporate population and demand projections, such that the models would accurately reflect projected water and wastewater needs within the County. The Department of Public Utilities partnered with Dewberry to accomplish model calibration activities by developing specialized methodologies for projecting population growth and system demands that would closely approximate actual data records. These methodologies were also developed to allow for future manipulation of model inputs and results as population projection data changes and as the system expands, in order to evaluate water and wastewater services in areas not already served and areas where existing systems are failing. In the final analysis, the average water demand projections matched the actual water production records for the baseline year and closely approximated expected demands throughout the planning period.

The calibrated projected demands were divided among commercial and residential users within the County, placed into the computerized models, and calibrated through comparison with actual water and wastewater system conditions, including pump records, tank level records, and measured system flows. The calibrated models were run under different scenarios and different time steps throughout the planning period to evaluate system improvements required to address future water and wastewater needs.

Findings from the Facilities Master Plan identified water system improvements totaling approximately 145 million (162 million inflated) and wastewater system improvements totaling approximately 81 million (112 million inflated) in overall project costs. These improvements were incorporated into the County's Capital Improvement Program budget for implementation through individual projects over the next 20 years.

From the County's perspective, the Water and Wastewater Facilities Master Plan provides a flexible and sound engineering tool that can be used to make critical operational and economic decisions relative to future water and wastewater infrastructure planning. It provides the guidance that Hanover County needs to plan for future water and wastewater system improvements over the next 20 year period, allowing the County to meet its mission of providing water and wastewater services to its residents.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2005

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