Water negotiations continue

Published 8:00 am Thursday, February 15, 2024

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Talks are ongoing between Prince Edward County and the Town of Crewe on the proposed extension of water service from Sandy River Reservoir into Nottoway County. 

In a Tuesday, Feb. 6 interview, County Administrator Doug Stanley said representatives from the county and Crewe have had two in-person meetings since late last year when talks resumed. 

“Our respective staff and consultants have been sharing information to help both parties make informed decisions,” Stanley said. 

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New Crewe Town Manager Phil Miskobic, who took over the position Monday, had not returned calls for comment on the discussions as of press time. 

Prince Edward County gained permission last year as part of the state budget to run a water line into Nottoway County to provide service for operations such as the Nottoway Correctional Center and Piedmont Geriatric Hospital, and the Town of Burkesville. All of these are currently served by the Town of Crewe.

“Prince Edward County is working diligently to put together a comprehensive proposal for the Commonwealth of Virginia, which will include Crewe, Nottoway and Burkeville as potential wholesale partners,” Stanley said. “We’ve had productive conversations to date with Crewe and Burkeville and look forward to working with the Nottoway County Board to continue to work towards regional solutions.”

The State Water Control Board (SWCB) approved a new regulation last November requiring counties in the designated areas served by the same water basin to develop regional plans.

This appeared to create a roadblock for Prince Edward County’s plans to extend lines outside the county.

Stanley contends that’s not the case.

“There appears to be some misunderstanding about the regional water supply planning regulations,” he said. “Those regulations require localities to discuss regional solutions to their common water supply needs – which is a good thing. However, the water supply regulations do not change the fact that regional water supply partnerships may be formed only if all parties agree it is in their best interests.”


Mapping from SWCB shows Prince Edward in the same regional planning group with Nottoway, Lunenburg and Brunswick counties.

As far as how those regional water plans would work for the communities, Stanley said there are many ways to structure a water supply partnership. 

“The details would be set by a long-term water supply agreement negotiated by both parties,” he noted.

Agreements such as this may have come in handy last month when a broken water main combined with severe storms caused the Town of Crewe to shutdown its water treatment plant Jan. 12. 

Customers were asked to limit water use to emergencies, according to the town’s Facebook page. While the plant was back in operation later that day, customers were asked to conserve water and a boil notice was issued for all Crewe customers. The boil notice and requests for conservation were lifted Jan. 16 after the town had two sets of test results on its water samples coming back negative for pathogens.

Stanley declined to comment specifically on this situation or the Crewe water system, but noted that all water systems require maintenance and replacements over time.

“Prince Edward’s objective is to present an alternative that suits Crewe’s needs,” he said.

In previous interviews, Crewe officials have said Prince Edward County’s plans take away their customers and create budget problems for the town.


Former Town Manager Jay Scudder said in December that the town has plenty of additional capacity available with its 1 million gallon per day treatment plant. The town was producing about 450,000 gallons daily, which means it can provide up to 300,000 gallons more daily as demand increases.

Scudder called the state’s approval to allow Prince Edward County to extend water into Nottoway “shocking to elected officials and people in this industry all over Virginia” because it means the state can run water wherever it wants.

Prince Edward has received the Department of Environmental Quality’s approval to develop a water treatment and distribution system using about 5 million gallons daily from its Sandy River Reservoir.

The county continues work on getting the approvals required.

“There is a lengthy regulatory process to create a new public water system,” Stanley said. “We are working through the final stages of that process.”