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Combined sewer overflows and Gillies Creek

October 11, 2010 8:15 am by

by Kristin

The City of Richmond is trying to argue that Gillies Creek is a lost cause when it comes to cleaning up fecal coliforms that spew into the river via multiple combined sewer overflows everytime it rains more than 0.2 inches. They are proposing to do a “use attainability analysis” to show that its not feasible to reduce bacteria to a level that is safe for human health. Essentially, the City would like to put cleaning up Gillies Creek on the back burner in perpetuity, essentially meaning that raw sewage would flow untreated into the James River for generations to come.

Much of Church Hill is in the Gillies Creek watershed. I guess that means we just shouldn’t poop when it rains?

I don’t know about you, but the thought of our collective raw sewage being dumped into Gillies Creek, and subsequently the James River, is disgusting and deserves some attention.

I understand that it may take a while to fix, but the City should at least come up with a plan, even if we can’t implement it right away.

Anyone who wants to comment on the idea of the City investigating whether Gillies Creek is worth cleaning up or not, should check out the public notice and send comments to the State Water Control Board:

Comments should be received by November 1, 2010 and submitted by mail to David Whitehurst, Department of Environmental Quality, P.O. 1105, Richmond, VA 23218, or 629 E. Main Street, Richmond, VA 23219, or via email to david.whitehurst@deq.virginia.gov. Phone number for questions is (804)698-4121.

Also, here is a link to the document the City submitted to the Department of Environmental Quality and the State Water Control Board justifying why Gillies Creek is at the bottom of their to do list:

http://www.deq.virginia.gov/wqs

It is also worth noting that at the State Water Control Board meeting on Sept. 28th, board members asked City officials pointedly if the public had access to Gillies Creek. Two board members made it very clear that children will find creeks and play in them, whether the water quality is healthy or not. City officials insisted that Gillies Creek flows through private and city lands, strongly implying that public access is not feasible. They failed to mention that Gillies Creek flows right through a public park. I belive there was a stream clean up held there just a few weeks ago. Shameless!

Guest written by Kristin. Have something that you’d like to see published?


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