Letters To Editor

Editor, Rappahannock Times:

Bizarre. That is the best word to describe the Caroline County plan to withdraw up to 14 million gallons of water per day from the Rappahannock River, send it by pipleline 35 miles to where it will be treated and used by data centers, presumably Amazon’s. Wastewater will be dumped into the headwaters of the Mattaponi.

Bizarre because it would be a lot cheaper to site the data centers by the river. Routes 17 and 301 provide moer than adequate access.

Bizarre because untreated non-potable water would be pipelined, thus making it impossible for any new customers to connect.

Bizarre because no thought seems to have been given to the downstream effects of millions of gallons of water entering the Mattaponi. Will homes be flooded? Will farmland be lost? Is Caroline County prepared to pay the costs of harm done downstream?

What will the project cost? I have not seen an answer. My estimate:

Intake station, $5,000,000

Pipeline: $75,000,000

Pump stations (4): $20,000,000

Water treatment plant: $50,000,000

Wastewater treatment: $50,000,000

Water tower: $5,000,000

Total: $205,000,000

My estimate for the pipeline includes obtaining eastments and rights-of-way. The total of $205,000,000 does not include soft costs such as engineering, surveying, and legal, which, typically, can add 25 percent to a project.

So we are talking about a $250 million project. Who will pay for it? Amazon? County residents? Water system customers?

The present water system is small. It has less than 2,000 residential and commercial customers, a total demand of about 550,000 gallons per day, and the revenues of around $5,000,000. Last yer it was a money loser for the county.

Does the county propose to burden the ratepayers for a $250, million project, which will bring little or no benefit?

Ben D. Shiriak Tappahannock

Editor, Rappahannock Times:

You are living beyond all your means, and my means, too, by the way.

Joseph Bozeman Butylo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *