Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star: Funding helps advance Spotsylvania water system upgrades

FREDERICKSBURG FREE LANCE-STAR, SCOTT SHENK

A pair of major Spotsylvania County water system projects recently got a boost from federal funds.

The money will go toward the expansion of the Motts Run water treatment plant and a new water tower.

The projects are part of the county’s work to expand its water system infrastructure, which includes three wastewater treatment plants, two water treatment plants and three reservoirs, along with 47 pump stations, seven water tanks and more than 1,200 miles of pipes to handle water demand.

The funding comes from legislation sponsored by Rep. Abigail Spanberger, who represents the 7th District.

Spanberger’s office said in a statement that the water system projects will help the county “serve growing residential and commercial demands, and provide more fire flow duration.”

The county said the same in its application for the federal funds as officials have an eye on growth, especially in Massaponax and Thornburg, where several apartment buildings have opened in recent years and more are in the plans or are proposed. Commercial growth includes the Kalahari resort in Thornburg, approved by the Board of Supervisors in 2022.

Funds include $3,452,972 for the second phase of the Motts Run water treatment plant expansion and $3 million to help with construction of a new 1-million-gallon water tower to replace an existing 250,000 gallon tank to serve the Massaponax and Thornburg areas.

Spotsylvania owns and operates the Motts Run plant, which opened in 1999. The plant treats water for Spotsylvania and Fredericksburg. The plant’s primary water sources are the Rappahannock River and the Motts Run reservoir.

The federal funds will help the Motts Run plant expansion project move into the second phase—engineering work—of the $94 million project. The work is expected to be completed in 2027.

The second phase of the project will cost an estimated $5.5 million. The county sought $4.4 million through the federal program.

When the project is completed, the treatment plant capacity will double from 12 million gallons per day to 24 million gallons. The county estimates the daily demand for the plant will be 24 million gallons a day in 2045.

The new water tower, which is being designed, will be built behind Massaponax High School, as the county has an eye on serving that rapidly growing area of the county.

It will cost $5.8 million to build the new tower. The county sought to fully fund the new tower through the federal program.

In its application, the county estimated the tower could be completed by September.

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