Bedford County Considers Water Line Expansion

Bedford County, VA - Bedford County hopes to pump more water from Smith Mountain Lake, for homes and businesses in Forest.

The proposed $33 million plan would pay to extend water lines from Moneta, to Bedford City, on to Forest. Customers in Forest currently get water from Lynchburg.

"The plant that's at Smith Mountain Lake is a very energy efficient plant. It's a very cost effective plant to operate," said Brian Key, with the Bedford Regional Water Authority. "The rate of the water there is just less expensive than the rate of the water that's being purchased from Lynchburg right now. The cost of production is cheaper."

The county is asking the state for a new permit that would allow it to pump three times its currently daily limit from the lake. If approved, construction could begin next year.{} The request must also be approved by AEP and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, since Smith Mountain Lake is used to make electricity.

John Sharp, who represents Forest on the Bedford County Board of Supervisors, says the ability of the county to provide water to this area is an excellent defense against annexation of the area.