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DEQ seeks input on sewage treatment plant

by Larry S. Chowning

The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is seeking public comments on a proposed sewage treatment plant to service the Saluda community and the Middlesex County Courthouse Complex.

The proposed 39,900 gallons-per-day discharge would empty into Urbanna Creek at the head of a cove near Oakes Landing.

The Town of Urbanna sewage treatment plant discharges almost directly across the creek from the proposed county site. Urbanna’s discharge point originally emptied into a small cove, but due to environmental issues the discharge was extended by pipe into the middle of the creek.

For the past five years, Middlesex County has been “pumping and hauling” sewage from the county courthouse complex. When the new courthouse was being built, the septic/drainfield system that had served the courthouse complex was discontinued, and a parking lot was built over the drainfield.

This is the second attempt by the county to build a sewage treatment plant in Saluda. A few years ago a permit for a 39,900 gallons-per-day plant was obtained by the county for a plant near the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office. However, several business and community officials felt this site was too small.

Members of the county’s Industrial Development Authority (IDA) encouraged the county to seek more land so a larger plant could be built, if necessary. They indicated at the time a larger treatment plant would reduce the overall cost of operation; create a more efficient plant operation; provide for economic development along three major routes; and increase tax revenues from new businesses that will come to Saluda.

The county then purchased 30 acres of land between Saluda and Cooks Corner for a sewage treatment plant and is now seeking re-issuance of the original permit to allow treatment of 39,900 gallons per day. The 30-acre site is large enough to accommodate future expansion, if needed.

Those interested in commenting on the proposed sewage treatment plant in Saluda should contact Jerry Kazio, Piedmont Regional Office, 4949-A Cox Road, Glen Allen, VA 23060; or phone (804) 527-5044; e-mail ; or fax (804) 527-5106.

posted 09.10.2008

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