DEQ again eyes Surry plant

Published 1:12 pm Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Latest in a long line of wastewater issues for town of Surry


By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

SURRY — The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality continues to investigate potential illegal discharges from the town of Surry’s wastewater system.

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While the town did address a violation concerning illegal discharges issued last fall, DEQ is looking into other concerns, said DEQ spokesman William Hayden.

However, DEQ cannot provide more details as the investigation is ongoing, he said. {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

 Last fall the town was cited for exceeding the legal discharge requirement on numerous substances, including E. coli and copper, according to a violation notice issued from DEQ.

That notice follows years of violations and civil penalties for the aging facility, which was built in 1985.

At the same time, the Hampton Roads Sanitation District has offered to take over the ownership and operation of the town’s system, as well as the county’s wastewater system.

The Surry Board of Supervisors is holding a public hearing Feb. 2, on HRSD’s proposal and the town is waiting to see what the Board does before making its decision, said Surry County Administrator Tyrone Franklin.

“It would be nice for the town to follow suit,” he said. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Surry County government center.

Surry Mayor Will Gwaltney said the Town Council is no closer to a decision than it was 30 days ago.

“I haven’t been told one way or another,” he said of a possible vote.

The next meeting of the Surry Town Council is Feb. 14, 7:30 p.m. at the town hall.

At the same time, the 90-year old Edwards Virginia Smokehouse, whose plant burned down a year ago, also needs the town to hook up with HRSD before it can rebuild. It is one of the county’s larger employers.

The Surry Circuit Court last fall approved HRSD’s petition to extend its territory into Surry County, to include the towns of Dendron and Surry. The town of Claremont opted out of the proposal. Surry County owns the Dendron sewer system.  {/mprestriction}