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A new reservoir, Rocky Pen Run, was put into operation Tuesday, as development and population in Stafford County continue to grow. With water reserves to help serve the county’s 134, 352 residents, it is considered the largest public work project to take place in Stafford.

More information from a press release from Stafford County:

“Our population has more than doubled in the last 20 years and the number of businesses and employee base has risen as well,” said Stafford County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jack Cavalier, Griffis-Widewater District. “Rocky Pen Run’s 5.5 billion gallon reservoir will allow us to meet the needs of both our private and corporate citizens for years to come.”

While the new reservoir will enhance service to customers in the southern and western portions of Stafford, the water can be pumped throughout the County based upon need. Rocky Pen Run will join Abel Lake and Smith Lake in supplying water to County customers. The new reservoir will draw water from the Rappahannock River, doubling the safe yield capacity of the water supply system from what exists today.

While one of the reservoir’s main functions will be providing water for local consumption, Rocky Pen Run will also be available for use as a recreation location, with opportunities for fishing, boating and kayaking. 

One important factor for this reservoir development was the innovative use of funding the project, as no taxpayer dollars were used.

The entire project has been funded through user fees charged by the Department of Utilities. Over the years, in anticipation of the Rocky Pen Run Dam, Reservoir and Water Treatment Facility, the County built up reserves from expansion fees. Expansion fees are one-time revenues paid by new users as they join the Utilities system. The project has been funded through those expansion fees as well as $61 million in bonds issued in 2012. Future debt service will be paid through expansion fees.

In the future, the county is looking at using this community resource to cool tech equipment, used in expanding Internet connectivity across Stafford.

 Photo credit: Stafford County