Utilities

Infrasrtucture

 

Infrastructure

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Electric Service

Dominion, headquartered in Richmond, VA, is one of the nation’s largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 28,200 megawatts of generation, 11,000 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline and 6,300 miles of electric transmission lines.  Dominion Virginia Power provides electric service to over 2.4 million electric customers in Virginia and North Carolina.

Dominion Virginia Power’s diverse mix of generating facilities including nuclear, coal, and renewable sources, provides competitive rates for its customers.  Electric rates for business customers are well below national averages and are among the lowest on the East Coast.

Electric customers in the Greater Fredericksburg area continue to experience outstanding electric reliability.  The average service availability is 99.985% and the amount of time the average customer is without electricity is approximately 76 minutes. Dominion has a number of infrastructure improvement programs underway that will further increase reliability and provide additional capacity to support growth in the region.

Dominion Virginia Power is committed to providing competitively priced electricity in an environmentally responsible manner.  Numerous conservation programs and a green power program are available to customers.  Dominion minimizes its carbon intensity through highly efficient generating facilities and the addition of new renewable generation to its portfolio.  The company is 27% below the industry average in minimizing carbon intensity.

Electric Services Rates

Dominion Virginia Power is a regulated company, and the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) sets all rates.  For business customers, rates are priced as bundled or unbundled, based on estimated consumption and a defined rate class.  Bundled Rate Schedules serve Virginia customers who purchase both the supply (generation and transmission) and delivery (distribution) portions of their electric service as a bundled service from Dominion Virginia Power.

Unbundled Rate Schedules apply to Virginia customers who purchase only the delivery portion of electric service from Dominion Virginia Power. The supply portion of electric service is purchased from another supplier. These rate schedules include the charges only for the delivery of electricity.

Gas & Electric Lines

Gas & Electric Lines

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To view a complete schedule of rates for business users, please visit the Dominion Virginia Power website at: http://dom.com/dominion-virginia-power/customer-service/rates-and-tariffs/business-rates-and-tariffs.jsp.

Other providers of electric service in Stafford County include Rappahannock Electric Cooperative and Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC).

Natural Gas

Columbia Gas of Virginia is one of the nine energy distribution companies of NiSource Inc. (NYSE:NI), providing natural gas service to Stafford County businesses. Serving approximately 245,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers, Columbia is the third largest natural gas utility in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

For over 160 years, Columbia Gas of Virginia has safely and reliably delivered natural gas to customers throughout the Commonwealth. Today, Columbia serves over 81 communities including: Stafford County, Prince William County, Fredericksburg, and many localities throughout Virginia.

Download a map of Columbia’s service territories.

To establish natural gas service for your business, contact Columbia’s New Business team at 1-800-440-6111.

Water & Wastewater Service

Water and wastewater services are provided to Stafford residents by the Department of Utilities. The demand for services has increased approximately 1.4% for fiscal year 2011 and is projected to grow at least 1.5% to 2% per year.  This growth is due to increased population and the need for new water and wastewater infrastructure to support current and future development.  Stafford County Department of Utilities serves approximately 32,100 active accounts, with approximately 1,450 of these being non-residential customers.

The Department is responsible for the system within Stafford's service area which consists of approximately 50,000 acres along three major transportation corridors: Interstate 95, U.S. Route 1, and U.S. Route 17.  There are no private water and wastewater providers within Stafford and the Department handles overall planning, administration, customer service, daily inspection, and daily operation/maintenance of the system.  All plant operators are fully-trained and licensed and the plants maintain an excellent safety record.

Water Supply

Water to Stafford customers is primarily supplied by two reservoirs, Abel Lake and Smith Lake. Abel Lake Reservoir is located in central Stafford and is impounded by Abel Lake Dam, an earthen embankment. Smith Lake Reservoir is located in northeastern Stafford on Aquia Creek and is impounded by Smith Lake, an earthen embankment with a roller-compacted concrete emergency spillway. The combined safe yield is approximately 13.8 million gallons a day (mgd).

Water treatment is provided by two facilities:  Smith Lake Water Treatment Facility and the Abel Lake Water Treatment Facility.  Smith Lake provides water to the northern region of Stafford and Abel Lake serves the southern region.  The output of both facilities meets or exceeds the standards prescribed by the Virginia Department of Health and the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1986.  The transmission and distribution system is comprised of over 593 miles of pipe ranging in size from 2 to 30 inches in diameter.  Two ground storage tanks, two standpipes, and 10 elevated tanks provide water storage of 15.8 million gallons.  The system has five primary and six standby pumping stations.

A third reservoir and water treatment facility are being constructed adjacent to the Rappahannock River.  The new Rocky Pen Run Reservoir Water Treatment Facility is expected to be operational in late spring of 2014.   It will have an initial capacity of 10 million gallons per day (mgd) -- with a future maximum capacity of 20-24 mgd – and will draw water from the new Rocky Pen Run Reservoir.  With a capacity of over 5.6 billion gallons, the new reservoir will hold over 65% more than both of the existing reservoirs combined.  The three reservoirs combined will provide sufficient water to meet the domestic, commercial, industrial, and fire suppression needs in Stafford County for the next 30 years or more.   

Wastewater Treatment

Wastewater treatment is provided by two facilities: the Little Falls Run Wastewater Treatment Facility and the Aquia Wastewater Treatment Facility, with current permitted capacity of 8 mgd and 6.5 mgd, respectively.  These were the first treatment facilities in the Northern Virginia area utilizing biological nutrient removal.  Both utilize ultraviolet light disinfection and the low-load aeration system, which allows higher flow rates without adversely affecting treatment.  Stafford County has installed centrifuges to de-water the sludge, which is taken to the regional landfill.  The wastewater collection and transmission system consists of approximately 415 miles of gravity sewers, 88 pump stations, and 57 miles of associated sewer force mains.

Stafford Utilities Fee Structure

Stafford County Utilities’ service and associated fees are comprised of three components: Pro Rata fees, Availability fees, and User fees.  Each component is defined below, along with a list of current fees. 

As part of the site plan approval process, businesses (or their hired engineers) will be required to complete a Water Meter Sizing Form.  This information will be used to determine meter size and, in turn, used to calculate both Availability and Pro Rata Fees.

Pro Rata Fees

Stafford has adopted a Water and Sewer Pro Rata Policy to finance the water and sewer infrastructure shown in the General Water Improvement Program and General Sewer Improvement Program.  The infrastructure projects financed under the policy include water transmission mains, pumping stations, and storage tanks, as well as sewage interceptor sewers, pumping stations, and force mains.  The policy is applicable to all non-residential site plans and Pro Rata charges are based upon the location of the project.  Rates for each water pressure zone and sewer shed are expressed in terms of dollars per gallon. The charge for each project is calculated by multiplying the estimated flow for the project by the rate for the project area.

For non-residential projects, the flow is determined based on the water meter size, calculated from the number of meter equivalents for each size meter at 350 gallons per day, per meter equivalent. 

Pro Rata fees are required to be shown on the coversheet of the site plan (for both water and sewer service) and must be paid before the meter is set.  Current Pro Rata Charges (Per Gallon) are:

Pressure Zone Water
Aquia (310) 1.92
Berea (503) 2.24
Central (370) 4.00
Falmouth (342/320) 3.40
Garrisonville (433) 2.61

Drainage Area Sewer
Accokeek 9.26
Aquia 7.47
Austin Run 5.34
Claiborne Run 5.80
Falls Run 10.49
Little Falls Run 9.93
Potomac Creek 16.55
Rocky Pen Run/Horsepen 19.47

Maps of the Pressure Zone and Drainage areas are available on the County’s website at: www.co.stafford.va.us/index.aspx?NID=993.

Availability Fees

Below is a schedule of current Availability Fees:

Service Type Meter Size (In Inches) Number of Equivalent Dwelling Units (EDU) Water Fee Sewer Fee
Availability - All Others & Non-Residential
5/8 1 $6,900 $3,500
3/4 1.5 $10,350 $5,250
1 2.5 $17,250 $8,750
1 1/2 5 $34,500 $17,500
2 8 $55,200 $28,000
3 16 $110,400 $56,000
4 25 $172,500 $87,500
6 50 $345,000 $175,000

User Fees (Per 1,000 Gallons)

Bills for non-residential customers are calculated using a flat rate per 1,000 gallons of water. These rates went into effect on October 13, 2013 and may be adjusted annually.

  Water Sewer
Non-residential All usage $3.59 $4.99
Water dependent home-based business All usage $8.98 $4.99
Irrigation, bulk, hydrant and construction meters All usage $13.00 N/A
Monthly service charge Per account $1.66 $1.86
Monthly demand charge Per equivalent meter $4.53 $6.49

The average non-residential water and sewer bill (1 ½” meter and 38,000 gallons usage) is approximately $340 per month.

Establishing Service

Applications are accepted in-person at the Stafford Utilities Office, or over the phone, at least 24 hours prior to the time service is to be initiated.  Applications forms are available on the County’s website at Stafford Utilities Service Application or they can be mailed to you by calling (540) 658-8616.  

New construction applicants are encouraged to speak with Department of Utilities’ staff regarding their construction projects.  They can be reached at (540) 658-8630.  Inspection and permit fees are also imposed and should be discussed with Utilities’ staff during the application process.

There is an $80 fee required to obtain water and sewer service to cover both administration and advance service to your project.

Telecommunications

Broadband Providers

Broadband Providers

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State-of-the-art telecommunications services are available throughout most of Stafford County.  The primary service providers include Verizon, Comcast, and Cox Communications, with each company offering a wide range of broadband, mobile, and fiber optic capabilities.

Service connections are generally available within 90 days of request and redundancy is available in defined areas of the County.  Companies needing extensive telecommunications capacities or services are encouraged to contact the Stafford Economic Development Office for assistance in facilitating requests for service with area providers.