Water conservation plan in effect after water main breaks in James City County


JAMES CITY COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — James City County is entering stage 1 of its Water Conservation Plan due to an unrepairable water main break in a primary distribution line.

The break is in one of the James City Service Authority’s main lines, and therefore, the JCSA is asking residents to voluntarily reduce their use of water until the main is replaced.

Those reduction measures mean:

  • Residents should refrain from irrigating lawns, effective immediately, until further notice.
  • New construction requiring landscaping under the County’s Landscaping Ordinance may delay landscape installation by posting a bond.
  • Property owners are encouraged to postpone the installation of new landscaping until restrictions are lifted.

The broken main hasn’t impacted customer service or the JCSA’s ability to provide pressure and flow to meet domestic demands. They’re not sure what caused it at this time, but the main was about 15 years old. There were no plans to replace it before the break occurred.

“However, as summer demands increase, JCSA may experience lower water pressure, which could impact the adequacy of pressure and flow for fire protection during peak times in irrigation season,” James City County said in a news release.

Mandatory water conservation measures may be needed if voluntary measures don’t reduce the amount of water demand enough.

The JCSA said the broken main is 30 feet under Powhatan Creek and cannot be repaired.

The JCSA is working to replace the main, but getting the correct permits will take several weeks before construction can start.

“I realize that the voluntary restrictions are inconvenient, especially at this time of the year. However, in the interest of public safety and in an effort to ensure that we can maintain our fire protection capacity, we urge customers to refrain from irrigating their lawns until we can replace the broken main,” said JCSA General Manager Doug Powell.

Submeter customers won’t be billed for the monthly submeter fee until restrictions are lifted.

JCSA will notify customers as soon as the main is replaced, which could be early to mid-July.

Customers with independent wells in certain neighborhoods are not under the voluntary irrigation restriction. Those neighborhoods include Glenwood Acres, King’s Village, Liberty Ridge, Racefield, Riverview Plantation, The Retreat, Ware Creek Manor, Westport and Wexford Hills

Customers who get water from Newport News Waterworks but use JCSA for sewer services are not in the voluntary irrigation area.

A map of the JCSA service area can be found here.

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