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Road work starts this week in Town of Halifax

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Water plant garners CDC quality award / January 26, 2015
Members of the Halifax County Service Authority got good news and bad news Thursday when they met for their regular monthly session.

The good news is that for the second consecutive year, the Leigh Street water plant has been given a Water Fluoridation Quality Award by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The award recognizes communities that achieve excellence in community water fluoridation by maintaining a consistent level of fluoridated water through the year.

“Community water fluoridation continues to be proven to prevent tooth decay throughout people’s lives,” said Katherine Weno, Director of CDC’s Division of Oral Health. John J. Aulbach II of the Virginia Health Department points out “by providing optimal levels of fluoride in their water supplies, these communities (who receive the award) are helping to improve the health of their citizens as well as reduce the costs associated with tooth decay.”

The bad news came with a notice of violation (NOV) that the Leigh Street water plant had exceeded the primary maximum contaminant level of trihalomethanes (TTHMs). All water customers must be notified by February 8 of the violation, which began a quarter earlier when the level of TTHMs spiked.

Since that time, those levels have been reduced significantly as officials made changes in the treatment of the water. However because the level is measured by an average count, the later level was not large enough to bring the count down to an acceptable level for the last quarter.

Both HCSA Director Mark Estes and plant manager Clay Samples say they believe the problem has been resolved now that the changes have been made.

In other business Thursday, directors approved the expenditure of up to $25,000 to modify the intake of water from the Banister River from the current 200,000 gallons to 3 million gallons. The modification requires a withdrawal permit from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality which would allow the Authority to have a back-up source of water to use from the Banister River. The request sprang from concerns arising with the February 2014 coal ash spill on the Dan River.

HCSA board members also reviewed plans for the Cowford Road project. Keith Thompson of Wiley Wilson said his group is starting to prepare easements so that work can begin later this summer.

Estes also reviewed the expansion of the Maple Avenue Wastewater Treatment Plant, which began in June of 2012 and was finally completed on November 20, 2014 after undergoing 28 change orders. The completed plant increased the plant’s capacity to process wastewater from 2.5 million gallons per day to 4 million for an expanded 20 year growth.

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Opposite to predictions, since fluoridation began in 1945:

Cavity crises occur in all fluoridated cities.

New dental professionals were created, e.g. dental therapists.

New dental schools opened.
Dental expenditures went up substantially, higher than the inflation rate.

Poor children’s cavities are more prevalent, severe, occur earlier and more likely to be untreated.

Despite dental spending growth, 42% percent of adults and 4 million children with dental problems could not afford dental care.

52% of new recruits have oral health problems needing urgent attention that would delay overseas deployment

dental socioeconomic disparities have increased.

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