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Planned Herndon water pump will have capacity for 10M gallons a day

Herndon will work with Fairfax Water to add a pump station next to the police station (via Town of Herndon)

A pump station proposed for the Herndon Police Department site will be able to process 10 million gallons of water per day, town staff say.

The station is part of a broader retooling of Herndon’s Utility Master Plan, which outlines how the town will bolster its water infrastructure in preparation for development around the downtown and future Metro station.

Presented to the town council in 2017, that plan anticipated the town would need to increase its water capacity by an additional 1 million gallons per day by 2025. The town purchased new storage in 2018, bringing its total capacity to 5.7 million gallons per day, according to a staff report by the Herndon Department of Public Works.

However, a shift in development trends in favor of residential construction over commercial led staff to revisit its earlier estimates and conclude that a new pump station would make more sense than the previous plan to add two transmission mains.

“This would allow us to get the additional capacity that we will need in a much more economical and reliable fashion than our previous plans estimated,” Herndon Deputy Director of Public Works Tammy Chastain told the town council during a work session on Tuesday (Oct. 4).

The new pump station will be on the police station property at 397 Herndon Parkway, where it can be connected to an existing 24-inch-wide pipeline that runs parallel to the Washington & Old Dominion Trail.

The town council is slated to approve a pending agreement with Fairfax Water for the project on Tuesday (Oct. 11), kicking off the design process.

Fairfax Water would be responsible for designing, building, operating and maintaining the facility, while the Town of Herndon would cover the design and construction costs.

“They are the ones that are going to have to upgrade it and maintain it,” Chastain said. “If it needs major repairs, we’d probably be helping in funding that. It’s only for us right now, which is why we’re paying the full cost.”

Right now, the estimated cost is nearly $5 million — higher than what town officials suggested before initiating an engineering study in 2019 but lower than the over $6 million that would’ve been needed for two transmission lines, according to Chastain.

The funding will come from the federal COVID-19 relief that the town was allocated by the American Rescue Plan Act, which included water and sewer projects as a viable use of the money, Town Manager Bill Ashton confirmed.

“This is good news because we’ve been planning for this for years,” Mayor Sheila Olem said. “Unfortunately, we went through Covid, but now, we’re getting this funding for something we knew we were putting in anyway. This is great.”

The pump station is “a step amongst several” in Herndon’s utility plan, Ashton said. At some point, the town will also replace its storage tank on Alabama Drive with two smaller tanks that the pump will fill.

Since the station will be right next to the W&OD, Councilmember Sean Regan questioned how it might affect the greenery alongside the trail and whether anything will need to be replaced.

Ashton responded that the potential impact on green space is “a design consideration we would certainly look at.”

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