MANASSAS — Micron Technology is the biggest user of water in Manassas.
And, they’re about to get even bigger. Once the chip maker opens its $3 billion expansion in 10 years — the largest economic development project in Virginia history — the tech giant will increase its water demand by 1.3 million gallons per day.
It’s going to take a lot more water to develop chips for new self-driving cars — the reason for the tech giant’s expansion in the region.
On Monday night, the city council approved a total of $28 million of new water and sewer projects. About half are related to Micron.
In the 10 years leading up the Micron expansion, crews must relocate a 24-inch water line so Micron can expand its electrical substation. There’s also the needed expansion of the Dean Water Storage Tank near the Wellington Road.
There are five water and sewer projects at a cost of $10.3 million that Micron will fund. Deputy City Manager Bryan Foster says the city will put the projects out for bid, then send an invoice to Micron to fund the work.
No work will begin until Micron pays the bill, generally within 30 days of receipt of the invoice, added Foster.
The remaining $18 million will be spent to purchase more sewage treatment capacity at the Upper Occoquan Service Authority. The additional capacity is needed because the city’s population continues to increase, said Foster.
The cost of the newly purchased capacity will be passed along to city residents in their water bills.
The additional expenditures were so large, the city council Monday night voted to amend its annual budget to include them.