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Sewer System a Concern for Albemarle Co. Officials

By: Mark Tenia Email
By: Mark Tenia Email

June 2, 2010

Albemarle County is dealing with a troubled sewer system, and supervisors are looking for a solution.

County leaders said they can't waste any more time trying to fix Albemarle County's and Charlottesville's wastewater sewer problems.

The executive director of the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority, Tom Frederick, and the Albemarle County Sewer Authority say something needs to be done soon or the problem will continue to get worse, in turn affecting the environment and potentially residents' health.

"Renewing our broken wastewater system is an imperative," Frederick said. "It's an environmental imperative, it's a public health imperative. We should do that vigorously."

Officials said the issue is rainwater getting into the sewer system through cracks and holes in the current pipe system. They said the two large winter storms highlighted the problems. After the storms, the pipes can't handle the amount of water flow, and as a result, the system overflows and gets into local streams and rivers.

Water employees said it's a problem they saw after the winter storms.

"Our operators were doing everything they can," Frederick said. "But it's like having a bathtub full of water and the water continues to pour in faster than you can drain it from the bottom of the tank, and there is really very little you can do."

Frederick said the data will be released next month to the public and will highlight the issues of the sewer system.

Frederick added that the RWSA is writing a plan that will be presented to the Board of Supervisors and Charlottesville City Council before they can take more action than they already have.

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