Reservoir project updated

Published 6:24 pm Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Henrico County representatives involved with the Cobbs Creek Reservoir construction in Cumberland County presented the reservoir’s progress during Cumberland’s Board of Supervisors meeting Jan. 8.

Chip England, director of the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) for Henrico County, introduced the project. Utilities Engineer Emily McConnell and Capital Projects Manager W. Ed. Overmann provided additional details about the development and the status of structures related to the project.

A memorandum of understanding between Cumberland County and Henrico County was established in 2010, and Henrico began the first phase of building its reservoir in 2015.

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The reservoir is estimated to cost a total $280 million and permanently impact slightly more than 15 miles of stream bed. The reservoir would collect water from the James River in order to secure Henrico’s drinking water supply for approximately five decades, according to documentation from Henrico County’s website.

Henrico began paying the county an annual contract payment of $1.13 million in lieu of taxes in 2011.

The $280 million reservoir project will encompass 250 linear feet, or just over 15 miles of stream bed, according to the original permit for the reservoir issued by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).

The reservoir will permanently impact 15.3 miles of stream, almost 31 acres of wetlands and 4.6 acres of open water, according to the permit.

The 1,117-acre reservoir site is expected to store 14.8 billions of gallons (BG).

The reservoir is expected to be complete in 2022, representatives at the meeting confirmed.

The reservoir, according to Overmann, would include 150-million gallon per day river withdrawal facilities. These facilities would pump water through transfer pipelines into the main dam, which is measured at approximately 3,850 feet long with a maximum height of 160 feet.

A saddle dam, or a dam positioned at a lower level, would be located at the reservoir and would be a maximum height of 26 feet.

McConnell presented photos of the current reservoir construction, including an overarching view of the main dam, the construction of two intake structures and the recently-approved pump station for the reservoir and Central Virginia Electric Cooperative.

The reservoir would also include an inlet/outlet tower reaching approximately 165-feet tall, roughly a third of the size of the Washington Monument, McConnell said.