Rivanna Trail Reopens

road closed sign
A quarter mile section of the Rivanna Trail paralleling the river has reopened.
The section of trail was shut down following a wastewater overflow a month ago (January 10).
Surcharged Rivanna wastewater interceptor
January 10 the river came out of its banks.

If you are in a wheelchair, beach tires are advisable. 100 feet of the path has a 4″ layer of sand deposited on top of the asphalt walkway. The sand makes narrow wheel passage a challenge.

NOTE! February 12 Parks and Recreation staff were out early Monday morning (2/12/2024) and did a commendable job of clearing sand from the trail in Riverview Park. It is now easy to pass with skinny tires (wheelchairs, strollers, road bikes)

Inflow and Infiltration (I&I)

pano of the Rivanna River January 10, the left side of frame is looking downstream toward Monticello, the right side of frame is the view upstream.

(if the photo is too small there is video)

7. Since 2006, RWSA, the City, and ACSA have worked together to conduct flow studies, analyze flow data, assess wet weather limitations, calibrate a transmission system computer model, forecast future dry weather flows through land development projections and identify inflow and infiltration reduction goals across all sewer collection systems connected to the Facility. The goal of these projects is to assure adequate capacity in the transmission and treatment systems with emphasis on addressing unpermitted discharges. The three entities are working cooperatively to upgrade their respective sewer collection systems.

Sat, Jan 15, 2011 at 5:53 PM To: Council
Cc: tfrederick@rivanna.org

Dear Councilors,

December 8, during RWSA’s presentation on the Rivanna Pumping Station, I asked Mr. Frederick how much it would cost to repair the inflow and infiltration problems that affect our waste water system (by system I meant all waste water pipes that connect to RWSA’s waste-water treatment plants).

As I understood his response, to get to the optimal industry standard practices fix of our waste water system would cost $400 million, this is the fix where there is still I&I but it is substantially reduced. To actually fix the pipes (make them water-tight, no one does this), would cost around two billion dollars.

Rivanna runs a system, hydration and sanitation. Alas, I can’t think of an apt analogy. My not so accurate way of thinking of it…

“It is like a car. The input side, the water supply, is the gas. Water supply speeds up the economy, we can hook up houses, hook up businesses. The safety side, the sanitation, is like the brakes. The waste-water (output) side must collect and treat the effluent from these houses and businesses.”

Our region has spent a great deal of time/money studying the input side. It is my impression that we have spent less time studying the output side. If I understood Mr. Frederick correctly, a detailed study of the waste-water side would take ten years to perform. The RWSA board in the past (2005) approved an evaluation of the waste-water side, but it’s my impression that that evaluation was not equal to a detailed study.

To me, it makes sense to repair the sanitation side in lock-step with increases on the water-supply side, like balancing a budget. Hope this will happen as we move forward.

Does the 25% I&I reduction by 2020 to which we (RWSA, ACSA, CHO Public Works) have committed achieve that balance?


Bill Emory Charlottesville VA 22902


dog bench fog river
I am thankful for water, light and life, for the world and its inhabitants. Most particularly thankful for the family and friends who make life a great joy.

Circus grounds

What’s old is new again

City Manager Sam Sanders
2008 September, Planning Commission identifies the Rivanna as a work plan item for 2009
Identify strategies to maximize the presence and value of the Rivanna River in the life of the City of Charlottesville
1/27/2009 Staff presents Rivanna River Corridor Plan Project Outline
Rivanna River Corridor-Charlottesville
Issue: The 3.7 mile River Corridor is an under-realized resource for the City of Charlottesville. “Identify strategies to maximize the presence and value of the Rivanna River in the life of the City.”
Outcome: River Corridor District defined for the City. Various components ready for inclusion with 2013 Comprehensive Plan—March 1, 2010 CPC Work Plan Report

Last night Charlottesville City Council approved purchasing floodplain acreage next to the Rivanna River.
Several of the Councilors and the City Manager spoke thoughtfully about the purchase.


There has been much talk about the Rivanna Corridor in the last two decades. I hope, this time, City leadership, staff and elected, will get serious. Spending five million dollars is a serious move. Other moves, like rewriting the zoning code for the acreage in the flood plain, should be undertaken post haste.