RWSA Study Supports Dredging

A study conducted for the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority supports dredging the South Fork Rivanna Reservoir, Brandon Shulleeta writes for the Progress. The plan has been to build up the Ragged Mountain Reservoir dam and run a pipeline from South Fork to Ragged Mountain, but that’s going to be awfully expensive. Critics have argued that it’d be cheaper to just dredge the South Fork, and that would provide enough increased capacity for the area’s future needs. The study found that the sediment in the bottom of the reservoir is perfectly safe—that is, not harmful to human health if disturbed. The reservoir originally held 1.6 billion gallons, but it loses ~1% of that capacity annually due to sediment buildup. Dredging it should get it back up to 1.2 billion gallons, which would obviate the need to increase the height of the Ragged Mountain dam or build a pipeline.

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