SMITHFIELD. After more than two years in limbo, the town has finally gotten the state’s nod to build a $5 million water treatment plant to remove excess fluoride from its water.
Last week, the Virginia Department of Environment Quality notified the town it would renew its current groundwater permit that allows the town to withdraw up to 1.4 million gallons of water per day, said Town Manager Peter Stephenson. The decision lets the town, which in 2004 signed a consent order with the Virginia Department of Health to reduce its fluoride levels in its water, to move forward on construction of a reverse osmosis water treatment facility.
Although the town has been ready to break ground on the plant for more than three years, the project has been stalled by the DEQ’s refusal to issue a new permit because the plant would have drawn too much water from a single deep underground aquifer, according to Stephenson.
The town’s engineering consultant plans to advertise for project bids on May 23, with an anticipated June 25 deadline, Stephenson said.
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Read more in Tuesday’s Daily Press.