Update on water project

Published 9:31 am Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Commonwealth Regional Council (CRC) Deputy Director Todd Fortune presented an update to CRC members about the Town of Phenix’s water system improvements during the council’s Dec. 19 meeting.

Todd Fortune

Harry Hughes with the Virginia Department of Health, Office of Drinking Water (VDH-ODW) was advised that wells No. 1 and No. 2 in the town were not currently connected, Fortune said. The September radiological sample could not be taken due to the disconnect. In order to resume the radiological testing needed for the improvements, the two wells had to be reconnected before the sample could be taken.

A test at well No. 2, located on the western end of the town earlier in the year was found to have slightly exceeded the regulated rate for natural radiological contamination.

Gross alpha was found while testing during normal water testing. Gross alpha is a broad collection of alpha emitting natural radiological contamination.

This contamination can pose some cancer risk, according to officials in a previous Gazette report, though the volume of water that would need to be consumed for this risk to take place is very high, according to a guideline the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) used to determine the effect of contaminants.

Due to the well in the town being a public drinking water area, the town is taking steps to address it.

Fortune said Hughes told him recently that the issue with the well connection would not affect the Preliminary Engineering Report (PER) that engineering firm W.W. Associates submitted.

Fortune noted that W.W. Associates and the VDH-ODW are expected to meet soon to discuss the PER.

“We think we’re close to having this done and being ready to proceed with the project,” Fortune said.