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Much bigger sewer pipe coming to Merrifield

An existing 12-inch-diameter pipe will be replaced by 30-inch alternative
Fairfax County supervisors will hold a Sept. 12, 2023, public hearing to discuss using eminent-domain powers to obtain land rights for planned sewer-capacity upgrade in Merrifield.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on July 25 is slated to set a public hearing for Sept. 12 discuss the use of eminent-domain powers to acquire land rights needed for construction of about 563 linear feet new gravity-sewer pipe in Merrifield.

The county government would like to use micro-tunneling to install the 20-inch-diameter PVC pipe inside a 30-inch-diameter steel casing, along with three new manholes, between the U.S. Postal Service facility in Merrifield and Eskridge Road. The county would abandon the existing 12-inch-diameter sewer and connect existing laterals to the new gravity sewer.

The project requires acquisition of sanitary-sewer, temporary-access and temporary-construction easements, as well as a grading agreement. The county’s Land Acquisition Division has acquired the needed land rights for one of seven properties.

While negotiations with the other affected property owners are in progress, the resolution of those acquisitions is not imminent, so supervisors may need to exercise quick-take eminent-domain powers so the project’s construction can begin on schedule, officials said.

County officials are seeking to upgrade gravity-sewer capacity in Merrifield because the Wastewater Planning and Monitoring Division identified a series of pipes that, because of current pipe size and average daily flows, were at-risk for sanitary-sewer overflows into nearby buildings and the environment.

The project aims to alleviate the risk and add capacity to accommodate the growing population upstream of the pipes in Merrifield, officials said.