The City of Falls Church has agreed to sell its water utility to a Fairfax County-controlled authority for $40 million in a tentative deal that appears to conclude one of Northern Virginia’s most persistent water wars, the parties said Tuesday.
The federally mediated agreement promises to bring relief to hundreds of thousands of customers who have complained for years that the drinking water they received from the city’s utility cost nearly 60 percent more than the water their neighbors received from the county. Falls Church was charging a typical customer $62.13 per quarter, while Fairfax was charging $38.76
The deal — announced jointly by Fairfax County, Falls Church and Fairfax Water — calls for the city’s shouldering of $30 million in the city utility’s pension and debt obligations, a reduction in rates for all customers in the Falls Church system’s service area within two years, and an end to pending litigation between the parties. Fairfax Water would also retain the city utility’s current employees.