Robert and Carolyn Michie, Albemarle County Service Authority (ACSA) Jurisdictional Area Amendment Request for Water Service



Public hearing on a proposed amendment to the Jurisdictional Area Boundary to provide water service to Tax Map 79, Parcels 17 and 17C located on the north side of Route 250, near the intersection of Route 250 and North Milton Road.



Messrs. Tucker, Foley, Davis, Kamptner, Cilimberg, and Benish





October 1, 2008


       ACTION:     X                INFORMATION:   



        ACTION:                       INFORMATION:   











The applicant is requesting ACSA Jurisdictional Area designation for water service to two parcels totaling 15.8 acres with two existing single-family homes and a new single-family home which the applicant had previously received a building permit to construct on Parcel 17C.  The parcels are on the north side Route 250 East, just north of the intersection of Route 250 and North Milton Road (Rt. 729) and adjacent to the GOCO Oil site (Attachment A).  The parcels are located entirely within the designated Rural Areas in the Rivanna Magisterial District.  The existing well serving the home and cottage has recently been tested by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and determined to be contaminated with Methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE), a gasoline additive that promotes a cleaner burn of the fuel.  Beginning in May 2008, the property owners experienced taste and odor problems with the water, which prompted a request to DEQ to test the well water supply for contamination.  Subsequent testing of the well found MTBE concentration of 0.021 mg/L.  DEQ has funded the installation of a charcoal filter system on the well to treat the contamination.  DEQ considers charcoal filtration systems a temporary remediation inferior to public water service (if available) and has recommended the site be connected to public water service.


The adjacent GOCO Oil site experienced a similar MTBE contamination in the wells serving that site and was approved for, and connected to, ACSA water service in 1999. 


Because of site conditions, including the location of the homes, out-buildings/barn, existing and back-up septic fields, and the topography of the properties, there does not appear to be a viable location for a new well on-site at a sufficient distance from the existing well to ensure no further contamination will occur in the new well.



Objective 2.2 Protect and/or preserve the County's natural resources.



The Comprehensive Plan provides the following concerning the provision of public water and sewer service:


“General Principle: Urban Areas, Communities, and Villages are to be served by public water and sewer (p. 114).”


“Provide water and sewer service only to areas within the ACSA Jurisdictional Areas (p. 130).”


“Follow the boundaries of the designated Development Areas in delineating Jurisdictional Areas (p.130).”


“Only allow changes in the Jurisdictional Areas outside of the designated Development Areas in cases where the property is: 1) adjacent to existing lines; and 2) public health and/or safety is in danger (p. 130).”


Water and sewer services by policy are intended to serve the designated Development Areas where growth is encouraged and are to be discouraged in the Rural Areas because utility services are a potential catalyst to growth. 

Water supply and system capacities need to be efficiently and effectively used and reserved to serve the Development Areas.  Continued connections of properties in the Rural Areas result in further extension of lines from the fringe of the existing Jurisdictional Area and into the Rural Areas, potentially straining limited water resources and capacity.


This request meets the first criteria for the provision of service to Rural Area parcels (adjacency to existing service lines). The adjacent property to the east of this parcel is within the ACSA Jurisdictional Area for Water Only to Existing Structures and is served with public water.  The primary issue with this request is whether the level of contamination experienced on-site creates a danger to the public health and safety.  The County’s Groundwater Manager has provided additional information regarding the health threat of MTBE (Attachment B).  DEQ has essentially established a “zero-tolerance” level for MTBE contaminations.  However, neither the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) nor the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established a level of MTBE contamination which is considered a health risk.  The Code of Virginia requires quarterly testing of public water supplies for MTBE and reporting of concentrations above 0.015 mg/L to VDH and DEQ.  As previously noted, MTBE in concentrations of 0.021 mg/L was found in the Michies’ well.  The County has previously granted ACSA Jurisdictional Area designation to the adjacent GOCO Oil site and the Key West subdivision based on MTBE contamination.  The contamination levels for those two sites were lower than the level found at the Michies’ well.


Based on the odor and taste condition of the water supply, the level of contamination within this source falling within the range suggested for public system monitoring, the proximity to a known contaminate site, and past actions regarding sites/requests with similar levels of contamination, staff recommends amendment of the ACSA Jurisdictional Area for water service only to existing structures. 



The property owner will bear the costs for the water connection.



At the conclusion of the public  hearing, staff recommends that the Board amend the ACSA Jurisdictional Area for water only to existing structures on Tax Map 79, Parcels 17 and 17C and one new residence Tax Map 79, Parcel 17C (for a total of three residences served on the two parcels). 



A – Location Map and ACSA Jurisdictional Area Designations

B – Memorandum from Groundwater Manager

Return to regular agenda