Davis Ford Water and Sewer Line
The Service Authority has voted to decommission the Davis Ford sewage treatment facility and build the sewer line to connect Occoquan Forest to a sewage treatment plant. This opens the possibility that the existing treatment plant property can be converted into a park (see Davis Ford Park tab under "Current Projects").
There is a small sewage treatment facility on Davis Ford Road near the Occoquan Reservoir. The facility services the Occoquan Forest community, providing sewage treatment and community well water. The plant dates from the 1970's and has a permit renewal due in 2015. The plant pre-treats the raw sewage and then sprays it from sprinkler heads onto the forest floor of the property. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has expressed the desire for the aging plant to be decommissioned (removed) and the sewage piped to the nearest high quality sewage treatment plant. A related issue is that many residents in the Occoquan Forest community would like public water service, if possible, for better fire protection.
To satisfy these concerns, the Prince William County Service Authority has proposed to build a public water and sewer line from the existing connection on Davis Ford Road near Prince William Parkway to the treatment facility for Occoquan Forest. The sewer line is proposed to be a 6" diameter force-feed line, which would presumably be available to Davis Ford corridor residents with failed septic systems in addition to the Occoquan Forest residents.
Concerns From The Community At Large:
Bringing public water and sewer into an area frequently results in higher housing density sooner or later, and this is a major concern here. The county comprehensive plan is the guide for land use in the county, and is not consequently changed by such things as the availability of public water and sewer, but that's not to say that it couldn't be changed in the future. Allowed density for new development could be increased, and existing large lot communities could be re-developed with more homes if there was enough capacity designed into the new sewer system. Mid-county residents have repeatedly indicated their desire that their community remain low density and sylvan in nature. There is also concern that residents along Davis Ford would be required to connect, as has happened in other jurisdictions. Our understanding is that this would not be true in this situation.
The Service Authority has held a public comment meeting, and is taking comments on their plan at: GM@pwcsa.org. Additional details are available on the Service Authority’s website at www.pwcsa.org, or by calling the Service Authority at (703) 335-7900, Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. County Supervisor Mike May is planning at least one town hall meeting on the subject, and of course MIDCO will continue to follow the issue.
Pertinent Information From The PWC Comprehensive Plan:
Public sewer is planned and mapped for the Development Area. New development in the Development Area will occur with the provision of public sewer facilities, except in the Semi- Rural Residential (SRR) designation, where on-site sewerage systems may also be used. Development in the Rural Area shall occur without public sewer facilities, except where provided for in this chapter – to address specific public health concerns or to serve a specific public facility. Any extension of public sewers into the Rural Area, however, shall not be used as a justification for increasing the residential densities that are shown on the Long-Range Land Use Plan Map for the Rural Area. The Sewer Plan discourages decentralized on-site sewerage systems in the Rural Area, where more than one lot is to share such a system.
Design and plan for sewer facilities only in accordance with the densities, intensities, and locations for new development in the Development Area that are shown in the Long- Range Land Use Plan Map.
Require all future development within the Development Area, as reflected by the Long- Range Land Use Plan Map, to connect to public sewer facilities, except in those locations designated SRR, where on-site sewerage systems are also permitted.
It is intended that all portions of the Development Area are to be served by public water and sewer, although water and sewer are optional in semi-rural sub-areas.
Require all future development within the Development Area – as reflected by the Long- Range Land Use Plan Map – to connect to public water facilities. Permit all future development within the Rural Area – as reflected by the Long-Range Land Use Plan Map – to connect to public water facilities.
Pertinent Information From The PWC Zoning Ordinance, Division 7:
Sec. 32-250.74. - Development to be on public water.
1. When available to the site, connection to the public water system shall be required for development of:
(a) Newly created lots for residential uses in the urban or suburban areas (as defined in the comprehensive plan);
(b) Newly created lots for residential uses in the semi-rural areas (as defined in the comprehensive plan); however, the board of county supervisors may consider requests to create lots for residential uses served by private wells in connection with a rezoning or special use permit application; and
(c) Nonresidential uses in the urban, suburban or semi-rural areas.
2. Lots within the rural area (as defined in the comprehensive plan) may connect to the public water system.
3. Minimum lot size for any lot not served by public water facilities shall be one acre.
4. For the purposes of this section, public water shall be deemed available if located within 2,500 feet of the site and capable of being connected to in accordance with the comprehensive plan and other applicable law.
(Ord. No. 94-67, 10-4-94; Ord. No. 04-78, 12-21-04)
Sec. 32-250.75. - Development to be on public sewer.
1. When available to the site, connection to the public sewer system shall be required for development of:
(a) Newly created lots for residential development in the urban or suburban areas (as defined in the comprehensive plan);
(b) Nonresidential uses within the urban or suburban areas (as defined in the comprehensive plan).
2. Residential and nonresidential uses within the semi-rural areas (as defined in the comprehensive plan) may connect to the public sewer system.
3. Residential and nonresidential uses within the rural areas (as defined in the comprehensive plan) shall not connect to the public sewer system, except in accordance with the comprehensive plan.
4.Minimum lot size for any lot not served by public sewerage shall be one acre.
5. For the purposes of this section, public sewer shall be deemed available if located within 1,000 feet of the site and capable of being connected to in accordance with the comprehensive plan and other applicable law.
6. Existing structures with failed septic systems and no on-site remediation that are within 300 feet of public sewer with available capacity, shall connect to the public sewer system.
(Ord. No. 04-78, 12-21-04)
The provisions in this section 32-250.75 were previously part of section 32-250.74, above. Pursuant to Ord. No. 04-78 adopted Dec. 21, 2004, public water provisions were set out in section 32-250.74 and public sewer provisions were set out in section 32-250.75 herein.