Henrico County building massive reservoir for fishing, boating and drinking water

Henrico County

CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Va. (WRIC)  —  Henrico County is digging a massive $280 million dollar hole to help ensure its future.

Construction on the Cobbs Creek Reservoir just met the one-year-mark. It’s the largest ongoing construction project in Virginia.

The 14.8 billion gallon reservoir will be a key source of drinking water for the region.

“So much goes into water,” explains Henrico Public Utilities Director Chip England, “You turn on the tap at home, you don’t think about it a lot of times but there are big projects like this behind what comes to your tap.”

The site sits nearly 50 miles away next to the James River in Cumberland County.

Over the course of the next three years, crews will move mountains of dirt to build dams and dig into the earth to create a reservoir that’s as deep as 160 feet.

The reservoir will pump water into the river when the levels are low. In exchange, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality will let Henrico withdraw more water downstream for its customers.

“This is an important project obviously for Henrico, leading the way for the region and creating available water for the needs of our community as we go forward,” adds England.

The project is fairly self-contained. 

It uses rocks from an on-site quarry to make cement for the pump house and other structures. The dirt used to build three earthen dams will also come from the 1100 acre property.

Virginia’s largest publicly-owned reservoir will be about 2.5 miles long and wide.

The water will also be open to the public for fishing and boating.

Work is expected to be complete by 2022 but it will take about year after that to fill the reservoir with water.

VIDEO: Drone footage shows construction on massive Henrico County reservoir

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