Local wastewater treatment plant gets upgrade

City and county officials, as well as residents, celebrated the upgrade at Wednesday’s open house. (Photo by Chelsea Stevenson)

By Chelsea Stevenson

An upgrade to the local wastewater treatment plant has been completed. The Maury Service Authority has complied with a state mandate as part of an effort to clean up the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

The project began six years ago when the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality placed a limit on the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus that wastewater treatment plants could release into the watershed.

MSA Executive Director Joe Milo said the upgrade cost $15.2 million and was a success, despite long winters and other challenges.

“We did an upgrade to every portion of the plant, meanwhile we got to keep it in operation and it’s got to comply with all of our discharge permits,” said Milo.

The project was finished last month, but MSA Board Chairman Richard Trandel dedicated the plant at an open house yesterday. Trandel said that the plant will make the watershed cleaner for all of its users.

“The county and the city have been very good about worrying about the health and the welfare benefits of the entire region. I really take my hat off, I’m one of the people who live in the area, and I am really quite proud to be a resident of Rockbridge County,” Trandel said.

More than half of the project was funded by a grant from the state’s Water Quality Improvement Fund.