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Service Authority News


plastic wrapped pipe

Plastic Wrap Helps Preserve Water Mains

Protecting the Prince William County Service Authority’s underground infrastructure from corrosion is another way to ensure reliable water service to the utility’s customers.

Corrosion can contribute to water main breaks, especially in ductile iron pipe which comprises more than 70 percent of water mains across Prince William County. To combat this, the Service Authority requires new pipe to be wrapped in a plastic called Polyethylene. This thick, durable substance insulates the pipe from potential corrosion. The Service Authority also coats all the fittings and fasteners with rubberized mastic, a sealant that essentially does the same job as plastic wrap.

“Whether it’s due to the composition of the soil the pipe is placed in, the structural integrity of the pipe when it was built, or the water lines’ proximity to other utility lines, some form of corrosion will likely occur with metal pipes,” said Collections and Distribution Manager Doug Shoop. “By wrapping the pipes in plastic and coating the fittings and fasteners, corrosion is less likely to occur because it has virtually no exposed metal to conduct with.”

Recently, the Service Authority completed a number of water main replacement projects that involved the wrapping process. One such project was the Melrose Water Main Replacement project in Triangle, which entailed replacing a mile’s worth of old cast iron pipe with wrapped ductile iron pipe in an older apartment community. In the last two years alone, the Service Authority has placed 36 miles of wrapped ductile iron water main in the ground across Prince William County.

The Service Authority has also installed pipes from polyethylene-based plastic along Lee Highway in Gainesville due to the highly acidic soil in that location. These style pipes offer strong protection against corrosion, said Utility Inspections Manager Conrad Holtslag.

“We want to preserve the pipe today, so it maintains its integrity tomorrow,” said Holtslag. “Once it’s in ground, it is very expensive to take out.”

Water and Wastewater Professionals

Honoring Our Industry

The Virginia General Assembly has voted to make June 30 annual Drinking Water and Wastewater Professionals Appreciation Day.

Conceived by the Prince William County Service Authority and supported at the regional and state level by numerous industry associations, the Drinking Water and Wastewater Professionals Appreciation Day honors the thousands of men and women that ensure clean drinking water and a healthy environment for the more than eight million residents of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The following organizations supported the bill, which was championed by Delegate Richard L. Anderson, R-51st District: the Virginia Section of the American Water Works Association, the Virginia Water Environment Association, the Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments (MWCOG), the Northern Virginia Regional Commission and the Virginia Rural Water Association.

“For an industry that is so critical to the health and economic welfare of millions of people in Virginia, this is highly appropriate and much-needed recognition for these hard-working men and women,” said Service Authority General Manager Dean Dickey. “We want to thank Delegate Anderson and members of the General Assembly for approving this resolution that acknowledges the dedication of those who work in this industry.”

“I am pleased that Virginia is formally recognizing our drinking water and wastewater professionals, and highlighting the very important work that they do every day, year-round to protect our environment and to preserve our quality of life,” said Ruth Anderson, Occoquan District Supervisor and member of MWCOG’s Chesapeake Bay and Water Resources Policy Committee. “Those who work in this sector are the ‘human’ element of our water infrastructure, which is essential to our robust local and regional economies.”

“Day in and day out, these pros safeguard the health of our citizens and make invaluable and lasting contributions to the Prince William community—and they care for our environment in the process,” added Delegate Anderson. “The General Assembly salutes the professionals who provide these invaluable services across the Commonwealth.”

Service Authority Awards

Service Authority Wins Trio of Awards

The Service Authority recently won awards in the fields of Communications, Community Relations and Safety.

This month, the Service Authority’s website PWCSA.org won a Graphic Design USA 2016 American Web Design Award. According to Service Authority Visual Design Manager Amanda Clark, the prestigious national award is given to visually appealing and easily navigable websites.

“Our goal is to create a positive user experience for all of our customers,” Clark said. “This award is a small affirmation that our efforts are on track.”

The Service Authority also won a Green Community Award from Prince William County in the Program Category, which recognizes a dedicated effort that conserves, protects, restores and creates a healthier environment.

“The Service Authority has raised awareness for thousands of children and citizens through innovative presentations, effective education programs, special community events, art contests and opportunities to learn hands on at the new Durward E. Grubbs Jr. Environmental Center,” said Prince William County Public Works spokesperson Deb Oliver. “These initiatives have directly improved our community's appreciation of the critical need for clean water in our daily lives.”

Finally, the Virginia Municipal League selected the Service Authority for a Risk Management Award for performing an exemplary job in risk management and safety. The Service Authority was one of only three organizations awarded out of 493 VML members. Criteria for the award included employee training, responsiveness to questions and concerns, prompt claims reporting, scoring 100 percent on the VML risk management guidelines and having an excellent loss ratio.  

“This award is a real testament to the hard work Service Authority employees put in to mitigate risk throughout the organization,” Safety and Security Program Manager Joseph Del Priore said. “The award not only recognizes our accomplishments in workplace safety, but also our success at reducing insurance-related costs in our operation.”

Water Art Once Again a Success

Battlefield High School student Khanh Nguyen won the Grand Prize in the 2016 Water Art Invitational on Thursday at the Raymond Spittle Building.

Nguyen’s beautiful painting of a fish in a brook netted her $800 in event sponsorship money. In all, the Prince William County Service Authority was able to administer more than $6,000 in prizes from funds donated by corporate sponsors.

“The Water Art Invitational was once again a smashing success thanks to a diverse assortment of interesting artwork and a record-breaking amount of sponsorship support,” said Community Relations & Outreach Manager Marlo Thomas Watson.

More than 70 students entered artwork in three categories: Painting & Drawing, Computer Graphics and Photography. This year’s theme was Wildlife Living With Water on the Chesapeake Watershed and featured the event’s first winning home school entry – Seth Hatfield’s second-place painting.

Other winners included two-time Grand Champion Sabrina Drescher of Battlefield (first place, Painting & Drawing) and Forest Park’s Abigail Chambers (first place, Photography) and Laurie Turner (first place, Computer Graphics).

Battlefield led the way with 13 winning entries: Nguyen, Drescher, Tony Lin (second place, Computer Graphics), Kirsten DeZeeuw (third place, Painting & Drawing), Hannah Oentung (third place, Computer Graphics) and eight General Manager Award winners (Sebastian Gallegos, Sophie Karas, Sarah McAllum, Alicia Pierson, Sydney Viar, Jacqueline Potter, Amy Dickens and Jessica Garcia).

Forest Park had eight winning entries: Chambers, Turner, Joshua Thompson (second place, Photography and GM Award, Computer Graphics), Hannah Langford (third place, Photography), Emma Buchko (third place, Computer Graphics) and Tamia Martin and Chloe Wade (GM Award).

Woodbridge High School’s Mitchell From tied Langford for third place in Photography while classmate Shaun Cantu took home a GM Award. Patriot High School’s Alex George and Lauren Chiles and Osbourn Park’s Clara Bennett also won GM Awards.

SA Awarded for Financial Reporting Excellence

For the 26th consecutive year, the Service Authority has earned a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).

This award, which was given to the Service Authority for its 2014 CAFR, is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting.

“To earn the award, an applicant must go above and beyond normal standards for audit and debt compliance,” said Accounting Manager Howard Kartel. “To be considered for the award, the Service Authority must meet a 72-page checklist worth of items as opposed to just meeting the bare minimum requirements.”

“It’s a strong accomplishment,” Howard said. “We could’ve just put out a very generic, simplified financial statement, but we go above cafr thumbnailand beyond that.”

The GFOA is a nonprofit professional association serving approximately 17,500 government finance professionals with offices in Chicago and Washington, D.C.

To view the FY 2015 CAFR, please click here.

Thanksgiving Turkey with Stuffing

Stuff the Turkey, Not Your Drain!


Avoid FOG for Less Clogs This Holiday Season 

Don't stuff your drain with Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) from your holiday feast. Instead, pour your FOG into a can and toss it into the trash. Avoiding sewage backups is a reason to be grateful this Thanksgiving!


Watch FOG Video

Know Your Lines

A tip from the Prince William County Service Authority about water and sewer line responsibilities.

The Prince William County Service Authority operates and maintains water mains and water service lines up to and including the water meter box.

The customer is responsible for the water service line from the customer side of the meter box to the home or business.

Customers are also responsible for the cost of all metered water lost as the result of an underground leak on the customer side of the meter. However, you may be eligible for a bill adjustment if all conditions described in the Service Authority's Customer Handbook are met. Click here to view the Customer Handbook.

Additionally, it is the customer's responsibility to clear any blockage in the sewer lateral all the way to the main. The Service Authority operates and maintains sewer mains located within a public street or dedicated sanitary sewer easement. Any structural deficiency, such as a break, in either the sewer main or a section of the lateral that lies within the VDOT right-of-way is the responsibility of the Service Authority.

Customer Handbook

Maplewood Tank Rehab Complete

The Maplewood Water Tank rehabilitation project off Centreville Road is complete.

Built in the 1960s, the Maplewood Tank is the third tank in the last two years to get a facelift. The Prince William County Service Authority has a 10-year program to rehab all its water tanks across the county.

The Service Authority will likely begin rehabbing its Haymarket Water Tank this spring. The Haymarket Tank is located off Old Carolina Road. Assessments of the Lake Ridge "Airport" Tank off Old Bridge Road and the Potomac Mills Tank near Shoppers Food & Pharmacy are also slated to be done by next June with actual construction scheduled for the next fiscal year.

Sewer Savers

The Service Authority is in Lake Ridge implementing a proactive sewer line maintenance measure called CIPP. Typically performed twice a year, CIPP, or Cured In Place Pipe, is used in sewer mains across the county to prevent damage caused by tree root intrusion and fats, oils and grease that get into the sewer distribution system. This process adds decades of life to the sewer infrastructure and helps avoids costly replacement projects.

Beware of Utility Impostors


Not sure who's knocking at your door? Watch this 30-second video to know what to look for when it comes to weeding out a utility impostor!