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Victoria fined by state due to sewer issues

The Town of Victoria has been fined by the Virginia Department of Environment Quality (DEQ) for non-compliance with discharge limitations at its two wastewater treatment plants.

The fine was for a total of $4,620.

The town council seemed surprised and frustrated by the fine in a live stream video of its Tuesday, May 12, meeting. The board asked Newton to contact the town’s delegation in the General Assembly regarding the matter.

The town minutes from the meeting said the council did not feel like the town received a fair and due process in the matter. They also questioned the quick timetable to correct the issues.

The report on the problems at the plants also gave a timetable the town must meet to solve the compliance issues. The town is required to submit a preliminary engineering study and report for the west wastewater treatment plant on or before July 15, 2020.

Newton said the town was working on a September timetable for the preliminary study. The study would evaluate alternatives to either upgrade the plant to be able to meet the state requirements or close the plant and pump the wastewater to the east facility. The report also requires the town to submit a plan and schedule of construction on or before October 1 of this year that would detail the town’s plan. The DEQ also wants to see a plan and schedule for construction that would have the completion date of construction for the project on or before Dec. 31, 2021.

Newton said he would be happier with a completion date of Dec. 31, 2022. The town’s original completion date for the project was scheduled for February of 2024.

“I think 14 months would be pushing it a little bit to get that completed,” Newton said.

The town has been evaluating options and solutions to the issues surrounding the wastewater treatment plants. The town council recently approved an increase in wastewater fees, but has not decided when to put the new fees in place.

The future wastewater treatment improvement project is expected to cost at least $1.5 million.