The Colvin Run Septic Sewage Receiving Plant site will close on June 27 due to safety and access issues related to the Difficult Run pump station project, according to Matthew Kaiser, with Department of Public Works. Rehabilitating the site would not address the issues of safety on the road/trail, flooding, and the lack of queuing space and a turn-around lane, according to county documents.
Photo by Ken Moore.
Raw septic will no longer be hauled to Great Falls’ Colvin Run Septic Sewage Receiving Plant.
The site will close down on June 27.
“We are temporarily shutting down the Colvin Run receiving site due to safety and access issues related to the Difficult Run pump station project,” said Matthew Kaiser, with Department of Public Works and Environmental Services. “Access to the receiving site is via the Cross County Trail with limited space, and multiple construction activities and vehicles, as well as equipment staging areas, are taking up most of the available room. The fewer trucks on the trail, the safer the experience will be for trail users. The closure is scheduled to remain in effect until construction activity at the pump station is completed.
Septic will be hauled over greater portions of the county.
The Norman M. Cole Jr. Pollution Control Plant in Lorton will remain available for any septage produced in Fairfax County and “haulers will have the option to take their loads to the Blue Plains treatment plant in D.C., and Upper Occoquan Service Authority in Centreville under our existing agreement with these entities,” said Kaiser.
“My expectation is we won’t be building a new site. We’ll see how this works out,” said Dranesville Supervisor John W. Foust. “If something unanticipated comes up, we may have to go to the drawing board.”
ABOUT 21,000 customers in Fairfax County don’t have access to public sewer and are served by individual household septic systems that require “pump-out” every five years. Approximately 49 percent of the sewage generated in the county is from septic tanks.
Approximately 3,200 food service establishments require collection from grease traps. The county’s septage management program also collects waste from portable toilets at parks, construction sites, community events and races.
The Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES) with consultant Hazen and Sawyer shared a feasibility study in February that identified six potential sites for the relocation of the Colvin Run Septage Receiving Site.
Lake Fairfax Area 6 Park Operations/Maintenance in a Reston facility site received the highest ranking.
The Reston community was outraged and raised concerns.
Foust said he was sympathetic to concerns of Reston’s residents.
“That would have been a huge mistake,” he said, of the potential plans to move the septic receiving site to Lake Fairfax. “Hunter Mill Road is a fairly historic highway, narrow and very heavily traveled and to intentionally divert truck traffic on that road is not a good idea.”
“Accessing it would have created problems,” he said.
Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins alerted the Reston community in mid-April that the county would expand the sites it will consider for an alternative locations, including non-county owned land.
“Attendees overwhelmingly expressed dissatisfaction with the proposed relocation to Lake Fairfax Park and voiced multiple concerns including, but not limited to, the impact to the various communities and Hunter Mill Road,” according to Hudgins. “All activity associated with the feasibility of relocating the Colvin Run Septage Receiving Site to Lake Fairfax is on hold at this time,” she said.
THE COUNTY WILL “assess additional sites. This process could take 6 to 12 months,” said Kaiser.
Renovating Colvin Run is addressed on the county’s web page for the feasibility study’ frequently asked questions page:
“Rehabilitating the site would not address the issues of safety on the road/trail, flooding, and the lack of queuing space and a turn-around lane.
“Due to the limited size of the site, improvements to the area would not address issues of safety on the road/trail caused by trucks entering and exiting the fenced area as well as trucks queuing to enter the secured area.
“Reston residents asked if the intake pipe could be raised above the floodplain to make renovations to Colvin Run more feasible.
“Options for providing an intake pipe raised above the floodplain with a new connection for septage haulers were considered. The haulers would still be operating within the floodplain. Also, due to the limited size of the site, improvements to the area would not address issues of safety on the road/trail caused by trucks entering and exiting the fenced area as well as trucks queuing to enter the secured area.”