New line allowed Bedford to meet increased water demand during fire

Published: Jan. 27, 2020 at 6:24 PM EST
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Last week's

put a strain on the town's water supply.

The Bedford Regional Water Authority says more than one million gallons of water were used to fight the fire in just seven hours.

Thanks to a new waterline installed a few years ago between Bedford and Smith Mountain Lake, the town was able to meet the increased demand. At 5 a.m. Thursday, the water authority started drawing an additional 150 to 200 gallons per minute from Smith Mountain Lake.

"We never really lost a lot of volume in our tanks," said Megan Aubrey, director of administration for the Bedford Regional Water Authority. "Our customers had water, the fire had water, so we were able to provide all of the water that the situation was demanding at the time."

Before the new line was built to draw water from the lake, the town of Bedford was only able to produce around 500,000 gallons of water per day; less than half of what was used to fight the fire alone.

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