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Flagged water readings in Clarksville no cause for concern, Council told

SoVaNow.com / April 26, 2017
Measures by the Town of Clarksville to address recent water violations have taken care of the problem that prompted state environmental officials to issue the citations in the first place, members of Town Council were told last week.

Clarksville’s drinking water is safe, emphasized public works director Richard Elliott in comments during Council’s regular monthly meeting April 18.

The town was recently notified that its water system exceeds a drinking water standard for trihalomethane, a disinfection byproduct formed when trace amounts of naturally occurring organic compounds combine with chlorine. The allowable standard for TTHM is 0.080 mg/L. Clarksville’s water contained 0.081 mg/L, averaged over the past year.

Elliott said recent tests have shown that Clarksville’s supply meets clean water drinking standards, but because one sample taken last September was out of compliance, the town is required to notify all customers of the findings.

This is the second notice the town issued in the past five months, and both were the result of the water sample from September. Following the test taken in September, the trihalomethane levels averaged over the prior year were 0.082 mg/L.

Shortly after the September sampling, Elliott said he began flushing water lines at Colleens Cove, the Buffalo Road area and at the town industrial park, all locations where water usage is low. If water is not refreshed often enough, trihalomethane levels will build up, Elliott explained.

There are two easy ways to refresh water — one, by flushing the lines, and the other by installing an aeration system, which pumps fresh oxygen into the water so it does not stagnate.

Regular flushing of the lines appears to have resolved the problem, Elliott said. Recent tests taken of the drinking shows trihalomethane levels at .062 mg/L in December and 0.045 mg/L in January, well below the allowable limit.

Town Manager Jeff Jones emphasized that the September test results do not pose an emergency and there is no immediate risk to the health or safety of the residents from drinking or using the water.

In other business during the Council meeting, Jones reported that 77 businesses and residences in town have been given notice that their properties are not being maintained at the levels required by town ordinance. Among recipients of the letters, 55 have completed the requested improvements, five have partially cleaned up the sites, and 12 have taken no steps to clean up or repair their property. Jones said he is looking into what action the town can take legally against the dozen offenders who have ignored the notices.

The letters were issued last year after Town Council agreed to take aggressive action to address neglected and abandoned properties around town. The owners were sent a letter notifying them of the violation and giving them a set time by which they were required to fix the problems or face further legal action from the town.

The properties that were targeted include sites with large amounts of trash and abandoned materials strewn around the lot, or where there is an abandoned building that poses a serious health and safety risk.

Chris Clarke read a resolution recognizing Mary Gail Gryder, owner of Lil’Creations Pre-school in Skipwith, on her birthday for 25 years of serving the parents and youth of the community “by providing quality child care that the working families in our area depend on.” In her honor, April 26, 2017 was named Mary Gail Gryder Day in Clarksville.

Police Chief Ricky Wilkinson announced that he has ordered new digital radios for his department and that he received a grant from the Byrne Justice Assistance Program in the amount of $2,985. He plans to use the money to purchase mobile radios for the police patrol cars.

Elliott said improvements to the town’s wastewater treatment plant and remote sewer pump station improvements are complete. He is in the process of arranging a final inspection of the project by the state housing agency’s Rural Development office, accompanied by town staff and engineers for the treatment plant.

Mike Chandler, a consultant hired by Clarksville to rewrite its zoning ordinances, is on target to complete the first draft of five articles — the purpose clause, general provisions, zoning districts and maps, administration and enforcement section and definitions by the end of April. These will be reviewed by the zoning steering committee at its next meeting on Thursday, April 27 at 10:30 a.m. in town hall.

Jones announced the tentative schedule for rolling out Clarksville proposed budget for FY 2018. The first draft of the budge will be presented to the budget committee on May 2. The public will be asked to provide input at the monthly meeting of Council on May 16 and final approval will take place June 20.

Council approved a request from Gregg Garrett and Dave Norwood to install a street light on the south side of Highway 58 near Mansion Drive.

VDOT completed its periodic resurfacing work on roads in Clarksville on April 13 and 14. The roads that were resurfaced were North Fifth Street, North Sixth Street, North Third Street, Dan Circle, Rose Hill Avenue and Easley Street.



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