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Old quarry shares last hurrah before waters rise


A quarry in Virginia, United States, is weeks away from brimming with ground water to serve a nearby water treatment plant and the 17,000 people it serves.

The East Pit Quarry, owned by Carmeause Lime and Stone, hosted 60 state and local officials in early October as they toured the soon to be flooded water intake tunnels.

East Pit had operated for decades before Carmeuse recently finished with the operation, agreeing to repurpose it as a water resource for the nearby Henry F  Sliwinksi water treatment plant.

The Sliwinski plant cost $USD32 million ($AUD42.52 million) and will be completed by April 2022, to be operated by Frederick Water.

Frederick Water executive director Erin Lawrence was one of the delegates to tour the dry quarry tunnels before they were shut off.

“A month from now, we are out of the pit, and it will start to fill up with water,” Lawrence told The Northern Virginia Daily. “And then we’ll never go down there again.”

The water intake tunnel is located 90 metres below the top of the quarry and runs the same horizontal distance into the quarry wall.

The East Pit Quarry will fill with more than 7.5 billion litres of water in just a couple of days, ready to be treated at the Swilinksi plant at a rate of 30 million litres per day.

Judith McCann-Slaughter of the Frederick County Board of Supervisors told The Northern Virginia Daily she was in awe of the scope of the quarry and plant.

“Just the opportunity of providing water into the future is pretty awesome,” McCann-Slaughter said.

“The shafts running through all of those layers of rock is phenomenal.”

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