The closure of the Central Virginia Training Center this summer has the Amherst County Service Authority searching for a solution to continue providing water to a 71-unit trailer park in close vicinity to CVTC.
The state-operated facility for residents with disabilities on Colony Road in Madison Heights is shuttering its doors at the end of June after more than a century in existence. The campus on about 380 acres is supplied with potable water from the City of Lynchburg, which the Amherst authority purchases, through a city line into CVTC’s water system about two miles long. A 6-inch water supply line from the mobile home park connects to the south side of the training center’s water system.
If no other water-using entity is established at CVTC when it closes the trailer park would be the only user of the city’s line and the average daily use is too little to allow continued use, according to Bob Hopkins, ACSA director.
Hopkins said lack of turnover, or emptying of the pipe by water use and refilling with fresh water, can cause several problems including stale water from long periods of stagnation in the city line, depletion of chlorine disinfectant that leads to possible growth in disease-causing bacteria and wasting large quantity of the authority’s water to address issues.
Hopkins told the ACSA’s governing board at its Jan. 9 meeting the city line likely will be shut down and an alternate way to supply the trailer park is being explored. The authority can provide water to the mobile home park through an existing 6-inch line but the main issue is having enough water for fire protection, Hopkins said.
Hopkins said the authority is working with the county’s public safety director to look at ways for having water available in case of a fire. One potential solution is a fire hydrant, which Hopkins said may be the most viable option.
When asked by ACSA board members about using stale water for fire protection, Hopkins said doing so would contaminate the authority’s lines and could cause a potential public health issue.
“I don’t think it’s worth the risk,” Hopkins said.
Hopkins said the ACSA has provided water to the mobile home park for many years and will continue doing so when CVTC shuts down.
“It’s our responsibility,” he said.
Hopkins said he will look into the matter further and report back on ways to ensure the mobile home park is served. He said several components tie in together he would work to address: providing water for the mobile home park, water service for CVTC post-closure and creating connections with the city’s system for a water backup in case it’s ever needed.
Lynchburg area officials are hopeful the CVTC site will land a new future use and not remain dormant and are backing a redevelopment plan they are hopeful will attract the attention of developers from across the country.
“If that area does redevelop we’re going to definitely need water,” ASCA board member Tom Martin said of the CVTC property.
Reach Justin Faulconer at (434) 385-5551.