The Siting and Design of A Large, Controversial Municipal Collection System Pump Station


  • Brian Porter, Janice Carroll - Hazen and Sawyer
  • Michelle Simpson, Jennifer Whitaker - Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority

The Regional Authority’s existing pump station is a 25 MGD collection system pump station that is located within 100 feet of residences and a community park in central Virginia. The authority is under consent order to upgrade the pump station to 53 MGD. Site selection is greatly complicated by the presence of hard rock mountains and an 750 cfs river within 250 feet of the pump station, a 100 year flood elevation approximately 15 feet above grade, as well as the neighboring residences and park. Five different sites were evaluated in detail for the location of the expanded pump station. Some of the innovative alternatives evaluated included: relocation of the pump station to the plant site, with interceptor extension by deep rock tunnel, relocation of the pump station across the river, and construction of the pump station on the existing site with utilization of diverse architectural camouflaging.

Given the proximity to the residences and the park, a collaborative public process was used to evaluate and compare the alternatives. The process included providing preliminary design of each alternative to best eliminate its disadvantages. The process included an extensive public education and directed comment process, as well as development of architectural and landscape architectural renderings. As result of the process, the authority decided to relocate the pump station to its existing treatment plant site. The new pump station includes a state of the art trench style arrangement with two ogee style self-cleaning trenches.

This presentation will provide details on the innovative and collaborative process used to allow the Authority to meet the needs of all stakeholders and comply with the consent order requirements. Recommendations for conducting a similar process to promote project success will be provided.

For more information, please contact the author at

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