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Preliminary sewer plan calls for small systems

by Tom Chillemi

Middlesex County’s “early draft” plan for sewer service calls for smaller systems to be built to serve specific areas, rather than one large county-wide sewer system.

Sewer service would be built in areas where growth is desired for both residences and businesses.

Developing sewer in the Saluda and Urbanna areas is the top priority on the county’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). The CIP is a list of major expenditures the county is facing. The CIP for the years 2014 through 2018 calls for funding $4 million for sewer.

The draft for proposed sewer service areas mirrors the small split sewer systems as proposed in the county comprehensive plan, said Middlesex Planning Commission vice chair J.D. Davis. “That’s what citizens wanted in the public hearings.”

Commission member Gordon Jones added, that the proposed maps “are almost a replica” of the sewer service areas listed in the comprehensive plan.

Middlesex planning director Wally Horton said this idea calls for separate sewer service areas where growth is expected. The areas outside of the sewer service area would remain rural.

“Retaining rural character” of the county has been repeatedly voiced by many citizens as a goal for the future.

The comprehensive plan was last updated in 2009, and a revision is due every 5 years, Horton said.

Commission member Bob Walker of Deltaville said the lower part of the county has a large percent of the population, needs sewer service, and should be considered first. Walker pointed out that while some think sewer should be an enticement to attract growth, Deltaville already has houses and businesses that need sewer service.

Commissioner Melvin Beverley commented, “If we don’t come up with a plan, we will have serious problems in 5 years.”

The first sewer service to the Deltaville area would begin along Route 33, east of Amburg, and encompass the Broad Creek area, according to the draft plan.

Horton said that this draft was only the beginning of discussions and the county is “a long way from the end.”

Beth Hurd, a member of the Middlesex Board of Supervisors who also serves on the planning commission, pointed out that Urbanna’s wastewater treatment plant is 40 years old and will need to be replaced soon.

Jim Pyne, director of the Small Communities Division of the Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD), has said the Urbanna tanks are made of steel and are rusted and patched. HRSD owns and operates treatment plants in Urbanna and in Saluda. The Middlesex Courthouse and office buildings have been hooked to the wastewater treatment plant at the Middle Peninsula Regional Security Center.

Under the proposed plan, the next area to be served in Saluda is on the east side of Oakes Landing Road.

Read the rest of this story in this week’s Southside Sentinel at newstands throughout the county, or sign up here to receive a print and/or electronic pdf subscription.

posted 06.05.2013

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