Tazewell tackles major project to update water system

Virginia News

TAZEWELL, VA (WVNS) — Town administrators in Tazewell, V.a. are in the process of a colossal project. They need to replace the town’s very old waterlines.

For the past couple of months, people in Tazewell, VA dealt with mass water issues throughout the town. Water leaks were disrupting business operations and day-to-day life.

Town Manager, Todd Day, said the leaks are caused by a combination of temporary pressure increase and very old infrastructure.

“If our system is that old and we’ve got bad spots that need to be replaced and looked at, then we need to do that. So we took that task on,” said Day. “We had a really hard time for about a month, it’s leveled out now.”

Phase one of updating the town’s water system is already underway, with new water tank in Blacks Chapel. Day said the tank belongs to the Public Service Authority, but the town has a share. The deal saved Tazewell millions in tax dollars, and eliminated the need to raise water rates.

Phase Two is upgrading the nearly 70-year-old waterlines.

“The water lines, when they were originally put in, had a 50-year life expectancy and we’re way beyond that,” said Day. “New waterlines, according to AWWA, specs have a 100-year life expectancy. “

Fifty-two miles of waterline run underneath the town, and Day said the only feasible strategy is to replace the system as needed, starting with the areas with the most leaks.

Work began on Riverside Dr. on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2019. Once Riverside is updated, they will start working on Fincastle road.

“The Town Council will have to do due diligence and look at those rates so that we can replace those lines within a timely manner,” Day said.

Day asks for people’s patience as they work to secure the town’s future. He said people should only experience minor disturbances to their water service during the work.

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