$7M in funding designed to improve water quality


Gov. Timothy M. Kaine on Tursday announced the award of $7 million to 11 projects through the Southern Rivers Watershed Enhancement Program.   

Ten projects will be funded through the Wastewater Treatment System Construction Grant program, and one from both the Wastewater Treatment System Construction Grant and the Managed On-Site Construction Grant programs.

It is my pleasure to again announce $7 million in grants to improve the water quality and quality of life for Virginians in the southern rivers region, Kaine said. The Southern Rivers Watershed Enhancement Program addresses not only the environmental impact of untreated runoff into Virginias ground water and streams, but also addresses the quality of life for Virginians who benefit through access to clean and safe water, and the expansion of wastewater treatment and collection systems.  

Combined, these projects will connect 789 households to public wastewater services, install more than 45,000 linear feet of sewer line, expand or construct wastewater treatment facilities and reduce the amount of sewage flowing into several waterways, all of which have been deemed impaired by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. 

These projects will benefit more than 700 families and their communities with access to clean and safe wastewater systems, said DHCD Director Bill Shelton.  We are pleased to be administering these funds that will help create safer and healthier communities. 

SRWEP is administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), in accordance with guidelines and procedures developed with the Virginia Departments of Environmental Quality, Health, and Conservation and Recreation. The program is designed to improve the water quality of Virginias non-Chesapeake Bay watersheds, and is funded through Virginias Water Quality Improvement Fund. 

Details of the grant award projects and amounts are listed below:

Wastewater Treatment System Construction Grants

Project Description:  The county will provide public wastewater service to 25 households that are currently using individual septic systems, many of which are failing to meet local permit requirements.  Recent testing indicates that 57 percent of the local water supplies in the area are contaminated with coliform and have fecal coliform present, and this project will help stop further contamination.  As a result of this project, 6,500 linear feet of eight-inch sewer line, 1,250 linear feet of four-inch sewer line, and 2,500 linear feet of four-inch sewer line will be installed.

Project Description:  The city will provide public wastewater services for the Albemarle Acres, Bridgewood, and Etheridge Road communities.  These neighborhoods were found to be the most environmentally at-risk due to a number of factors, including the age of the houses and septic systems, number of system failures, total repairs to the existing systems, the use of wells, and number of complaints.  The project will result in elimination of 245 individual septic systems.

Project Description:  The city experiences major sanitary sewer overflows along Mill Creek, a tributary to the severely impaired Chestnut Creek.  In part due to these overflows, the City has been issued a Consent Degree requiring a Capacity, Management, Operation, and Maintenance program to address and reduce the potential for overflow events.  This project will result in the construction of 1,500 feet of twelve-inch sewer line, a 0.75 million gallon storage tank, a diversion structure, a pumping station, and associated control systems.  Once completed, the project is expected to eliminate the majority of overflows and will be a major step in the improvement of stream quality in terms of untreated household wastewater discharge.

Project Description:  The county will dramatically improve the quality of wastewater treatment from the Jarratt Wastewater Treatment Plant, eliminate the untreated wastewater discharge currently flowing into the Upper Potomac groundwater aquifer, and address identified water quality violations.  The project will include the replacement of eight-inch sewer line, four-inch service laterals, and 18 manholes.

Project Description:  The town will expand the wastewater treatment plan to address capacity, reliability, and effluent quality issues.  The plant has received numerous warnings and violation notices from the Department of Environmental Quality due to sewage bypasses into the Seay Creek.  Once completed, the plant will be expanded to 0.6 MGD, providing the benefits of reduced levels of turbidity, harmful bacteria, and viruses to the receiving water.

Project Description:  The city is implementing a phased solution to address severe health concerns and water quality issues in the Josephine community.  Previous studies noted that approximately 17 percent of households in this community directly discharge untreated wastewater in the water system, while many others had very old and failing septic systems.  When completed, approximately 132 households will be connected to the Citys public wastewater system. Additionally, the Benges Branch interceptor will be repaired and 3,215 linear feet of eight-inch sewer line, 1,829 linear feet of twelve-inch sewer line, 28 manholes, and 56 lateral connections will be rehabilitated or replaced.

Project Description:  The county will connect 35 homes that currently rely on aging and failing onsite septic systems to a pubic wastewater system.  The system will immediately remedy a severe health hazard resulting from the failure of a community system serving five homes that has failed and results in the discharge of untreated waste.

Project Description:  The county will install approximately 2,175 linear feet of eight-inch sewage line that will connect 29 existing properties that currently rely on aging and failing onsite septic systems that are typically 50-60 years old.  The system will transport the wastewater flow to the Regional Water Pollution Control Plant, preventing the untreated wastewater from entering the Roanoke River.

Project Description:  The county will address a long-standing problem of failing septic tanks and drainfields that often result in gray water discharge into open ditches.  Through this project, 19,400 linear feet of eight- inch sewer trunk line, 5,000 linear feet of four- inch sewer trunk line, two sewer pump stations, and related appertances will be installed.  A total of 105 households will have access to a public sewage system once completed.

Project Description:  The county will provide improve the water quality in area streams and groundwater by providing public sewer for the residents in the Spring Creek Basin area.  Numerous repairs to current onsite systems, along with several permit rejections exemplify the problems the community is experiencing.  As a result of this project, a new wastewater collection system for 218 households will be constructed.

Managed On-Site Construction Grants

Project Description:  The Morefield Bottom area is characterized by poor septic drain fields where numerous septic fields have failed and in some instances, raw sewage is visible in road ditches.  To remedy this problem, the County will construct an onsite, decentralized system to be operated by the Castlewood Water and Sewage Authority.  As a result of this project, the County will install 4,000 linear feet of three-and four-inch sewer line, 53 watertight septic tanks, and an AdvanTex AX1000 comm
unity system.  A total of 53 homes will be connected to the system.