Bedford County hopes to pump more water from Smith Mountain Lake, for homes and businesses in Forest. When the City of Bedford reverted to a town this summer, it was required to have a backup water source. The Bedford Regional Water Authority has now selected an engineering firm specializing in water and energy systems, to begin the preliminary design phase of an estimated $34 million Smith Mountain Lake to Forest pipeline. The seven-month contract will complete about 60 percent of the design work needed for the pipeline project and will take about six months. Phase II would complete the design work, as well as construction. According to the Smith Mountain Eagle, the contract signed with the engineers will be for both phases of the project, but the BRWA retains the ability to terminate the contract after the first phase if needed.