- Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 September 2013 05:57
- Published on Wednesday, 11 September 2013 05:57
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It seems that the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has misplaced some town records, but the Town of Montross has taken it in stride. However, now that the VDH has gotten their records in order, some town residents and businesses may be required to install water backflow protection.
In 2010, the town’s water system was inspected. After that inspection, the VDH stated that the town’s water backflow prevention program, as a whole, was not up to date.
The town had submitted updates before the 2011 inspection, but did not hear any more from the VDH until 2013. Every year, the VDH had asked if the program had been updated, and was told by Montross that it had.
In 2013, the VDH asked the town to resubmit the updates. Montross Town Manager Brenda Reamy reported that a representative asked her, “Could you just send the revised copy in again?” “That would speed things up”, advised the representative.
Councilman Larry Wheaton jokingly commented on the request, “Not that we have lost it, or anything.”
Subsequently, on June 14, the Town of Montross received an approval letter from the VDH.
Now, the town needs to hold a public hearing and have a vote on an ordinance to adopt the plan.
Councilman Robert Zimmerman asked if the town’s equipment was compliant with the plan.
Reamy advised that it was, saying, “Most of what we have done in the last four years has been brought up to what is required in the plan. The only update we need to meet is that the town must keep every complaint on the water system in a separate file.”
So how will the changes affect the residents of Montross? In an email, Reamy said that the water backflow prevention program is very long in scope. Surveys will be conducted to help identify any areas where water backflow prevention would be necessary.
Some businesses will be affected, such as the Coca-Cola plant. Everybody, including home owners, will get a survey every year to complete and return. During the council meeting, Reamy said that residents with fish ponds that are automatically fed, would have to put in a backflow valve.
Zimmerman commented about yearly inspections of backflow valves, which would have to be conducted by a licensed professional. “Nothing like taxing improvements right out of people’s houses,” he commented.
In other matters concerning water, Reamy told the council that a pending bill, which if passed, would require Westmoreland County’s water facilities (which withdraw more than 300,000 gallons of groundwater per month) to acquire a permit through the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), along with the traditional VDH operational permit. Montross fits that criteria.
Reamy said that she did not know how much would be involved, but she wanted the council to be aware of the requirement, and that she will contact DEQ in the near future for more clarification. Reamy also said that she is not sure if farmers will be required to have an irrigation permit, as well, when pumping out groundwater. “The Health Department is aware of the change, but does not know a thing about it,” Reamy added.