Category Archives: Water-related Infrastructure

Proper Well Abandonment is Well Worth Discussing on the 30th Anniversary in 2017 of the Baby Jessica Incident in Texas

On October 16, 1987, 18-month-old Jessica McClure was rescued from an abandoned water well in Midland, Texas.  The October 2017 issue of The Cross Section, from the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District in Lubbock, Tex., recalls the “Baby Jessica” story as a cautionary tale for the proper closure and sealing of wells that will not longer be used—a task of importance not only for safety of humans and animals but also for groundwater protection.  The newsletter is available online at http://www.hpwd.org/the-cross-section/; or contact the District at 2930 Avenue Q, Lubbock, TX 79411-2499l (806) 762-0181.

Following are some Virginia information resources related to well abandonment and sealing in Virginia.

*Virginia law on sealing temporarily or permanently abandoned wells is online at https://law.lis.virginia.gov/admincode/title12/agency5/chapter630/section450/.

*Water well tips from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation are available online at http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural-heritage/lokwaterwell, or contact your local Soil and Water Conservation District  (the District Directory is available onlinee at http://vaswcd.org/district-directory).

*“Proper Permanent Well Abandonment for Virginia Coastal Plain Wells,” from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and Department of Health, is available online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Portals/0/DEQ/Water/GroundwaterPermitting/DocumentsandForms/2017/DEQFactsheet-WellAbandonment2014.pdf?ver=2017-03-23-123639-840.

*Some Virginia localities also provide information on proper well abandonment.

Public Comment Opportunity on FY 2018 Virginia Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund Priority List – Ends with Public Meeting on Oct. 26, 2017

The State Water Control Board’s draft priority list for Fiscal Year 2018 grants from the Virginia Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund is undergoing public comment until a public meeting on October 26, 2017.  The meeting that day will be at 10 a.m. at the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) office, 629 East Main Street in Richmond.  More details on the meeting is available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/ViewMeeting.cfm?MeetingID=26560.

The draft list of loan recipients and projects is available from the DEQ online http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/CleanWaterFinancingAssistance/FY2018AnnualSolicitation.aspx.  More information about the Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund is available online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/CleanWaterFinancingAssistance.aspx; or contact Walter Gills, Va. DEQ Clean Water Financing and Assistance Program, P. O. Box 1105, Richmond, Virginia  23218; phone (804) 698-4133; e-mail: walter.gills@deq.virginia.gov.

On Virginia Water Radio for 6-12-17: Infrastructure’s in the Water and in the News

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of June 12, 2017, is “Infrastructure’s a Trillion Dollar Word.”  The 4 min./16 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2017/06/episode-372-6-12-17-infrastructures.html, focuses on the recent national news about infrastructure and on American Society of Civil Engineers “report cards” on the state of infrastructure in the United States and in Virginia.

Virginia Water Radio’s is a weekly broadcast/podcast produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center.  The home page is http://www.virginiawaterradio.org.  Have a listen or two!

Virginia Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund – Applications for Fiscal Year 2018 Due by July 14, 2017

July 14, 2017, is the deadline to apply to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for financial assistance in Fiscal Year 2018 through the Virginia Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund (VCWRLF).  The DEQ’s Web site for the FY 2018 program is online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/CleanWaterFinancingAssistance/FY2017AnnualSolicitation.aspx.

Here is an excerpt from that Web site:

“VCWRLF applications are being solicited for projects that involve improvements to publicly-owned wastewater collection and treatment facilities, installation of publicly-owned stormwater best management practices, projects for the remediation of contaminated brownfield properties and land conservation projects.  Eligible Brownfield loan recipients are units of local government, public service authorities, partnerships or corporations, and eligible land conservation recipients are state and local governments, public service authorities, and registered nonprofit organizations.

“Special consideration may be give to projects that meet the Green Project Reserve guidelines (online as a PDF at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Portals/0/DEQ/Water/ConstructionAssistanceProgram/Green_Project_Reserve_Info.pdf?ver=2014-03-07-182359-110).

“Finally, we are also accepting applications for Living Shoreline projects.  Local governments (which are the only eligible applicants for this program) can either apply for financial assistance in order to directly establish living shorelines themselves or establish a local government funding program for individual citizens to establish living shorelines on their properties to protect or improve water quality.  We anticipate that the [State Water Control Board] should have over $100 million in funds available for distribution during FY 2018.  Should demand for good water quality or public health related projects exceed availability, these funds may be leveraged in the municipal bond market to increase the amount of assistance available.”

The DEQ expects to present a proposed funding list to the Virginia State Water Control Board in September or October 2017.

Application details are available online at the Web site listed above.  For more information, contact Walter Gills, Va. DEQ, P.O. Box 1105, Richmond, VA 23218; phone: (804) 698-4133; e-mail: walter.gills@deq.virginia.gov.

On Virginia Water Radio for 5-1-17: SERCAP’s Past and Present of Paying Attention to Rural Water and Wastewater Needs

Virginia Water Radio’s latest episode, for the week of May 1, 2017, is “SERCAP Continues a Rural Water and Wastewater Focus That Began in 1969.”  The 4 min./51 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2017/05/episode-366-5-1-17-sercap-continues.html, introduces the Roanoke-based organization whose work since 1969 in rural water, wastewater, and community development has been a model for similar organizations nationwide.

Virginia Water Radio’s is a weekly broadcast/podcast produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center.  The home page is http://www.virginiawaterradio.org.  Have a listen or two!

Virginia Clean Water Financing Programs under the Va. Dept. of Environmental Quality, as of March 2017

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), on behalf of the State Water Control Board and with financial management by the Virginia Resources Authority, operates several water-quality financing programs under the collective term of the Virginia Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund (VCWRLF).

Previously known as the Virginia Revolving Loan Fund, the VCWRLF began in 1987 with a focus only on low-interest loans to localities for wastwater system infrastructure improvements.  As of March 2017, the VCWRLF includes not only the Wastewater Loan Program but also the the Brownfield Loan Program, the Land Conservation Loan Program, the Stormwater Loan Program, the Living Shorelines Program, and the Water Quality Improvement Fund, and the Agricultural Best Management Practices Program (suspended indefinitely).

Information about these programs is available online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/CleanWaterFinancingAssistance.aspx; or by contacting Walter A. Gills, Program Manager, Department of Environmental Quality, Clean Water Financing & Assistance Program, P.O. Box 1105, Richmond, VA  23218; phone (804) 698-4133; e-mail: Walter.Gills@deq.virginia.gov.

More information about the Virginia Resources Authority is available online at http://www.virginiaresources.org/.

“Water is Life” is the Theme of the Annual SERCAP Meeting and the Focus of the Organization’s Mission

April 19, 2017, was the date for the latest annual “Water is Life! Luncheon and Conference” held by the Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project, Inc., or SERCAP, located in Roanoke, Va.

The 2017 event marked the 48th anniversary of SERCAP, whose mission is to help provide safe and adequate water and wastewater, community development, environmental health, and economic self-sufficiency to rural citizens in seven southeastern states: Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.  SERCAP is one of six rural community assistance projects in the United States.

More information about SERCAP and the annual luncheon/conference—at the Sheraton Roanoke Hotel and Conference Center—is available online at http://www.sercap.org/, or contact SERCAP at 347 Campbell Avenue, Roanoke, VA 24016; phone (540) 345-1184.

For an audio take on SERCAP and its April 2017 meeting, have a listen to Virginia Water Radio Episode 366 (5-1-17) (4 min./51 sec.), online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2017/05/episode-366-5-1-17-sercap-continues.html.

Water for Tomorrow photo
“Water for Tomorrow,” an influential 1988 report on water and wastewater needs by locality in Virginia, was published by the Virginia Water Project, the predecessor to SERCAP.