Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Better Know a Reservoir: Sugar Hollow

Sugar Hollow Reservoir
Photo credit: Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority
Guess who’s turning seventy this year! Sugar Hollow Reservoir, built in 1947, draws from the pristine mountain waters of Shenandoah National Park in the northwest portion of Albemarle County. From Sugar Hollow, water flows through a 13-mile pipeline to the Ragged Mountain Reservoir and on to the Observatory Water Treatment Plant providing water to the University community as well as ACSA customers near and west of the US Rt. 250 Bypass.

When is a lake actually a reservoir? Reservoirs are man-made lakes created by building a dam. They store water that is later treated for domestic use.

Water spilling over the dam flows into the Moormans River which is a tributary to the South Fork Rivanna River. These three interconnected reservoirs act as one system to adequately provide the drinking water for our urban area now and in the future.

Sugar Hollow Reservoir is stocked with rainbow and brook trout as part of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries’ “put-n-take” trout. 

Every year, from October to June, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries stocks over 1.2 million catchable-size trout across the Commonwealth. Sugar Hollow’s cold, clean, and pure waters are great spawning grounds for this popular and delicious fish which can grow to as much as 16 inches long and 40 pounds in weight. Also lurking beneath the rocks and crevices of the reservoir are the prized Brook Trout which has provided the grist for many a “fish story”.

Sugar Hollow Reservoir Fast Facts
Useable volume:
324 million gallons
Surface area:
47 acres
Watershed area:
18 square miles

Want to learn more about local reservoirs? Read the Reservoir Water Quality and Management Study: A First Look from Rivanna Water & Sewer Authority.

Photo credit: Andrew Shurtleff 

Monday, December 5, 2016

How to Prevent FOG Clog

Albemarle County Service Authority blog, how to prevent fats, oils, and grease clogs

Everyone gains a little fat over the holidays—just don’t clog your drain with it.

What is FOG?

Fats, oils, and grease (FOG) make the holidays taste extra special—after all, what is Christmas dinner without gravy? FOG products include fatty foods (butter, shortening, dairy products, meat fat, etc.), cooking oils (peanut, vegetable, olive, soybean, corn, coconut, sesame, salad dressing, etc.), and the substances left behind after cooking, such as greasy scraps and pan drippings.

What happens when FOG goes down the drain?

FOG can clog your home plumbing and cause sewer overflows in your home and neighborhood. When FOG collects on pumps and hardens in pipes, it can cause waste water to flow out of manholes and possibly onto streets.

How to Properly Dispose of FOG

Be nice to your pipes this holiday season by keeping fats, oils and grease out of your drains. Here are 3 easy steps to avoid clogging your pipes:

1. Scrape

Deposit cooled fat, oil, grease or food residue into a separate container where it can congeal. Wipe out the remaining residual fats, oils, and grease with a paper towel before washing.

2. Store

Store used grease, oils, fats, and food residues in the freezer.
Mason jars, Tupperware, disposable containers—these common household items make excellent FOG containers. For even simpler FOG storage, seal a used and empty food can with a 3-Step Lid™ (available for free from Albemarle County Service Authority). The 3-Step Lid™ fastens over most cans, from 3 oz. to larger family sizes, sealing the grease inside. The can is then stored in the freezer until the grease is frozen solid. The reusable lid is removed and saved for future use, while the can of grease can be placed in the trash.

3.  Dispose

Once your FOG container is full, simply scrape out the frozen FOG into the garbage.

Prevent fats, oils, and grease from damaging your home and the environment. For more information on FOG, visit www.serviceauthority.org/fog.html