Henry Public Service Authority gets grant to modernize water service lines

Former Fieldcrest Mills Plant, Henry County
Former Fieldcrest Mills Plant, Henry County(Henry County)
Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 10:53 AM EST
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HENRY COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ/Henry County Release) - The Henry County Public Service Authority (PSA) has been awarded $6,165,600 from the Virginia Department of Health’s Office of Drinking Water (ODW) to modernize water service lines in the Fieldale community.

About 31,700 linear feet of existing pipe will be replaced with the grant funds received from ODW’s allocation of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), according to the county.

“This grant is wonderful news for the Fieldale community,” said Gerry Lawicki, Chairman of the PSA Board of Directors. “Our primary mission is to provide clean and safe water for our customers. These funds will help us update our infrastructure in Fieldale, ensuring we continue to live up to that mission.”

A bulk of the water infrastructure in Fieldale was built during the expansion of textiles in the area, according to Henry County PSA. Following the closure of the former Fieldcrest Mills plant in 2003, the PSA inherited the existing water and sewer system that serviced the surrounding community. The system was originally constructed using galvanized steel and lead-jointed cast iron, materials outdated by current standards.

The county says the grant will cover the cost to replace those materials with high-density polyethylene pipe, impacting about 280 customers.

Now that the grant has been awarded, the project will enter the design and permitting stage. Tim Pace, Director of Engineering & Mapping, estimates this could take 6-9 months to complete. The next stage would be putting the project out to bid, meaning construction could begin in early 2024.