by Alicia Pimental
August 19, 2009
Virginia has received $80.2 million through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to upgrade and improve wastewater treatment facilities throughout the state, which will help lessen a major source of nutrient pollution to the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers.
The funding will help Virginia and its local governments install nutrient-reducing technology at many wastewater treatment plants, as well as eliminate overflows of raw sewage to local rivers throughout the state, including from Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) systems in Lynchburg and Richmond.
Approximately one-fifth of nutrient pollution to the Bay comes from wastewater. All seven jurisdictions in the Bay watershed – Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia – are currently working to reduce pollution from wastewater by installing nutrient-reducing technology at major wastewater treatment facilities.
“We have worked hard to restore the health of the Chesapeake and all Virginia waters, but also we know that we have much more to do,” said Virginia Gov. Timothy Kaine. “These funds will significantly help us advance our work to reduce pollution from sewage treatment plants.”
The funding will also be used to implement wastewater reuse projects, alternative energy use at wastewater treatment plants, and address public health problems in areas not currently served by centralized sewage systems.