A River Ran Through It
In August Fairfax Water began demolition of the River Station Treatment Plant. The plant played an important role in the history of Fairfax Water. In 1967 Fairfax Water acquired the River Station and the Old Lorton Treatment Plants as part of the purchase of the Alexandria Water Company. Since its creation in 1957, Fairfax Water had supplied its customers through a small well system or by purchasing water wholesale. The Alexandria Water Company purchase provided a surface water system and the treatment plants that were critical to support the growing drinking water needs of Fairfax County. The River Station Treatment Plant was built in 1965. Its innovative circular treatment basins earned the design engineer a patent for the first use of single-basin treatment processing. In 1972 Hurricane Agnes caused extensive damage to the River Station plant and the raw water piping. The water supply to more than one-half million people in the city of Alexandria and the counties of Fairfax and Prince William was completely cut off. Damage to dam structures and facilities was so extensive that it took four years and $2 million to complete all the repairs.