Report Suggests Decreased Support for Dredging in Rivanna - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Report Suggests Decreased Support for Dredging in Rivanna

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The age-old issue of dredging re-emerged on Tuesday.

A report to the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority (RWSA) Board of Directors suggested that poor turnout at a September meeting on the issue could mean less support to dredge the South Fork Reservoir.

The plan remains, but now there are new questions about the effectiveness of dredging and what will happen to the sediment that's removed.

"In good faith to the city of Charlottesville, I thought we ought to go ahead with it," said RWSA director Ken Boyd.

"There was obviously a lot of support for dredging when we were right in the middle of the discussion over the water supply," said RWSA director Maurice Jones.

It turns out sediment is settling in the water supply zone instead of in an anticipated dead zone. That could cause long-term liability issues.

Dredging would only increase the overall water supply by 2 or 3 percent, and would be primarily for recreational and aesthetic reasons.

"All in all, I think we were concerned about both sides of that," Jones said.

The contractor is still trying to lock in a property for placing the sediment. Panorama Farms is a potential site but the owners of that property say that once the sediment is there, it can't be removed and sold to recoup the costs of dredging.

"If it's not going to downgrade the scale of the amount of dredging that we can get down, it doesn't bother me if it's going to stay there," Boyd said.

The contractor will now move forward with a detailed phase proposal for the dredging. A cost-sharing agreement caps the dredging costs at $3.5 million.

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