2016-11-09 / Local News

Blacksburg’s water back in compliance with standards

Ledger Staff Writer

The drinking water in Blacksburg is back in compliance with state water standards, town administrator Charlene Carter announced Monday.

Blacksburg has spent the past several months flushing water lines, testing and working to repair leaks since a May 24 state notice about a failed water test in the Buffalo area. A combination of warmer weather and limited use led to elevated levels of the chemical trihalomethane (TTH).

Carter has noted that the Blacksburg water system was well within drinking water standards for the Buffalo area from January to March this year. She expects this trend will continue for the next few months with the return of cooler temperatures.

Blacksburg has only 22 water customers along seven miles of water lines in the Buffalo community.

“We don’t have enough people using the water in the Buffalo area,” Carter said. “What happens is the water becomes stagnant in the pipes and causes those (chemical) reactions. We are continuing to discharge hydrants to blow off the lines three times a week to keep the water from sitting there.”

At its height, mandatory flushing of water lines costs Blacksburg as much as $12,000 weekly this summer as the town worked to get in compliance with state water quality standards.

Blacksburg Town Council approved a temporary $5 increase in monthly water rates last month. Customers within town limits now pay $43 for water service while customers outside the town saw their rates increase to $45 per month.

Town officials estimate the rate increase will generate $90,000 in additional revenue in a given year for the town’s water system.

“This is intended to be a temporary increase in water rates until the water issues are corrected,” Blacksburg Mayor David Hogue said.

In other action, Blacksburg Town Council agreed to issue a business license to Verizon for a cell phone tower at the corner of North Mountain Street and U.S. Highway 29 following passage of an ordinance regulating cell towers. The application fee is $5,000. The building permit for the tower must be obtained from Cherokee County.

The Blacksburg Christmas Parade is scheduled for Dec. 10 at 2 p.m. in downtown Blacksburg.

Blacksburg Town Council will hold its next meeting Dec. 13.

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