Update: County to Provide Initial Funding for Lake Audubon-Area Erosion Fix

Sewer pipe near Cedar Cove/reader photoThe Fairfax County Board of Supervisors said it will provide initial funding for restoration of the eroding hill — which has left eight sewage pipes exposed — behind Wakerobin and Cedar Cove clusters.

A broken sewer line in the eroding channel leaked into Lake Audubon last summer. Since then, RA directors and residents of those neighborhoods have been asking the supervisors for several months to find the money for the repairs, which have left sewer lines exposed.

On Thursday, RA CEO Cate Fulkerson testified at the county’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget hearings, asking the supervisors to please find the money to help solve the problem.

She recapped the erosion situation, adding that years of sediment in Lake Audubon is also adding to algae bloom and poor water quality.

The pipes are on RA land but are owned by the county. RA has said the county should also take some responsibility because much of the erosion has been caused by water running downhill from South Lakes High School and Langston Hughes Middle School.

Adding concern is a planned 40,000-square-foot addition for South Lakes High School. Fairfax County Public School officials have said the addition does not have to follow updated environmental rules and is grandfathered in under older ones.

Repairs to the outfall channel are estimated to total about $1 million, RA officials estimated at a January meeting.

Supervisor Chair Sharon Bulova said at the hearing that design and permit dollars to restore the Wakerobin/Cedar Cove stream reach will remain in the proposed FY 2017 Budget. She did not elaborate on how much was available, but said it was part of the stormwater management allocation.

The Board of Supervisors will vote on its $3.99 billion budget on April 26.

“This is excellent news, and I thank all that took the opportunity to send letters of support for the budget matter and/or provided testimony,” Fulkerson wrote to residents. “In the next couple of months we will setup a meeting with County staff from the [Departments of Public Works and Environmental Services] to discuss design parameters for the restoration project.”

The RA board has also authorized allocating up to $20,000 from its operating reserves fund to conduct an independent audit of the waterflow and mitigation measures and to use the results to research the validity of FCPS’ waiver of stormwater management/ best management practices.

“I think it’s safe to say that all the residents of Wakerobin and Cedar Cove Court appreciate RA’s and Supervisor Hudgins’ initiative to put this unsightly environmental hazard on the track to remediation,” said Wakerobin resident Terry Maynard.

“As neighborhoods, we are committed to seeing the remediation project through to completion as quickly as possible even if its completion requires some neighborhood disruption for construction.”

Exposed sewer pipe near Cedar Cove/file photo

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