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Officials await report on land application of effluent

The Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD) is completing a study of the feasibility of applying treated wastewater from a proposed treatment plant in Saluda to land, instead of discharging into Urbanna Creek.

Jim Pyne, chief of HRSD’s Small Communities Division, said this week that a “draft” report of the land application study was due June 30. “It will probably take us a few weeks to finalize the report once we get it,” said Pyne.

On July 23, the State Water Control Board is scheduled to consider a discharge permit application for the proposed Saluda wastewater treatment plant, which is the first agenda item of the meeting that begins at 9:30 a.m. at the General Assembly Building, House Room C, in Richmond, and is open to the public.

It’s not clear whether HRSD’s land application report will have any bearing on the SWCB decision on the proposed discharge permit.

Middlesex County has applied for re-issuance of a permit to build a 39,900-gallon-per-day treatment plant, which is expandable, to serve the courthouse, county offices and parts of Saluda.
Middlesex County Administrator Charles Culley said on Monday that he and the board would like to see the HRSD report as soon as possible. He added that if the permit to discharge into Urbanna Creek is approved by the SWCB on July 23, it could be modified later for land application disposal.

If land application is viable, then the county will consider it, said Culley. He said the county is looking for the most efficient use of money and to provide sewer service at a reasonable cost.
A plant discharging into a body of water must treat to a higher standard than land application disposal, noted Culley.

Pyne said it costs less to treat wastewater that is applied to land.

Pyne and Culley both said the HRSD study will consider combining the Town of Urbanna wastewater treatment plant with the one proposed for Saluda.

The application was withdrawn from the SWCB’s April meeting agenda at the county’s request to give HRSD time to study the feasibility of land application of treated wastewater from the plant.

The Middlesex Board of Supervisors’ next meeting is on July 21 at 7:30 p.m., less than two days before the SWCB meeting where the permit will be considered.

Those who commented during the DEQ public comment period will be permitted to address the SWCB on July 23.

The SWCB guidelines state: “New information will not be accepted at the meeting. However, the Board [SWCB] recognizes that in rare instances, new information may become available after the close of the public comment period. To provide for consideration of and ensure the appropriate review of this new information, persons who commented during the prior public comment period shall submit the new information to the Department of Environmental Quality staff at least 10 days prior to the Board meeting.”

posted 07.02.2009

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