Pipeline Decision Deferred

Pipeline Decision Deferred

Fairfax Water will take comments on pipeline until March 10.

The Riverside Manor pipeline has been deferred for at least a month while Fairfax Water allows more time for public comments to be presented to its board before a decision is made.

At the meeting on March 10, the board will hear comments and read written statements, said Jeanne Bailey, public affairs officer for Fairfax Water.

“We’re pleased they deferred it for a month, but we’d asked for a 90-day delay and a public hearing before the Board of Supervisors,” said Richard Bliss, a representative for Citizens Against the Pipeline, a group of Great Falls residents trying to stop the installation of a pipeline from Great Falls Elementary School down Walker Road to Arnon Chapel.

“Ultimately, we want Fairfax Water to re-evaluate the need of the people and work in conformance with the Comprehensive Plan,” Bliss said. “There are alternatives to the pipeline, like performing regular maintenance to the existing wells, that would be the best option for water service that conforms with the Comprehensive Plan.”

CITIZENS AGAINST the Pipeline have had an ongoing petition drive at the Safeway plaza in Great Falls, collecting over 500 signatures from residents within the past month against the pipeline, he said.

“We hope they defer the decision even more than what they have,” he said. It would be in the best interest of Great Falls to maintain well-water service in place of the pipeline, he said.

“Even they [Fairfax Water] said it’s not their responsibility what happens to zoning if the pipeline comes in,” he said, citing the overriding fear that public water will open the door to sewer service, which may allow for greater land development and more housing in the rural area.

“I think we’ll ask for more time” at the March 10 meeting, Bliss said.

David Olin, president of the Great Falls Citizens Association, echoes Bliss’ sentiment, glad to have more time but still hoping for further deferral.

“It will be helpful to have the opportunity to further discuss this topic with the Fairfax Water Board of Directors. Many are not convinced, however, that the [Fairfax Water] board will be able to address certain concerns that pertain to broader issues,” Olin said in an e-mail. “It is hoped that this issue will eventually be brought to a public hearing before an entity that does have authority to address the community's concerns.”

THOSE WISHING to express concern or voice opinions on the pipeline issue can attend the meeting on March 10 or send written comments to Board of Directors, Fairfax Water, 8570 Executive Park Avenue, Fairfax, VA 22031. Comments can also be emailed to PR@fairfaxwater.org.