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EDFORD, Va. (WSET) -- Smith Mountain Lake will soon be a main source of water for thousands of more homes. Water Authority representatives tell ABC13 that choosing Smith Mountain Lake was part of a bigger picture plan to have a reliable source of water for the next 60 years. Right now, the lake serves residents in the immediate area as well as those in Franklin County. But, starting in a week, that service will expand to residents in Bedford who currently rely on the Stoney Creek Reservoir. Residents in Forest can expect to receive water from the lake in May.
The amount pumped out will start at 100,000 gallons a day and eventually increase over time to become the main source of Bedford's water. "It's a very reliable, clean water source that's not too difficult to treat and it's just something that's a very great aspect we have in our area," said Megan Aubrey with Bedford Regional Water Authority. Aubrey says in the long run, the plan is to save customers money because it costs a lot less to tap into a locally-owned source instead of purchasing water. She says part of Bedford reverting from a city to a town required a back-up water source. Charles Kolakowski describes the reversion process as one that needed to work for both the city, at the time, and the county. He says while there have been bumps in the road, they have been able to accomplish what they wanted to. He says it's had a positive outcome for business and has helped boost education services like the new middle school.
"It's given us the flexibility to look how we deliver certain services and decide whether, 'Okay, well this particular aspect isn't working out, maybe we can do it in a different fashion.' So, it certainly didn't solve all of the issues but it never was meant to," said Charles Kolakowski, the Bedford Town Manager. He says he credits the former Bedford City Council and Board of Supervisors for having a vision and recognizing that reversion was the best way forward for all.
ABC13 is told the lake water will not contain any fluoride
The Smith Mountain Lake Marine Fire/Rescue is actively seeking new members. Members can be firefighters, EMT's or simply someone that wants to help the community. If you feel that you have that calling to help others, that is the person we would like to speak with. Please drop us a note on this page or submit an application at Bedford County Department of Fire and Rescue.
Remember, "MANY HANDS, MAKE LIGHT WORK"!