Exmore hears pitch and public input on town’s sewage and waste water

October 1, 2019
town of Exmore

Pictured: an aerial view of Exmore.

A special meeting called by Exmore Mayor Douglas Greer Monday has led to Exmore to apply for DEQ funding to solve its waste water issues. But what the solution actually is remains unsettled.

The Exmore Town Council heard a presentation from Aqua Utilities, who manages the water and sewage for Captain’s Cove in Greenbackville, on a potential agreement with the town. The proposal would essentially keep the town in charge of water collection, but would turn over treatment to Aqua. Aqua would construct a treatment plant to treat waste water. The water would then run through a series of sandy pits with ‘rapid filtration ponds’ that fill on a rotating basis, before going back into the groundwater. The town would build a collection center on land it owns on the bayside, which Aqua would lease for 40 years. Aqua would construct the processing plant.

Eastern Shore Custom Carts

The complicating factor of this proposal is the uncertainly of the future of the Eastern Shore’s wastewater. Recently, there has been a lot of talk about the Hampton Roads Sanitation District assuming the Onancock Plant and running lines to Melfa, Exmore and Nassawadox initially.

However, this plan has plenty of complications itself, mostly including Hampton Roads Sanitation District refusing to assume any debt. Currently, Onancock has more than $4 million of debt on the plant it constructed. The Hampton Roads Sanitation District typically comes in to an area with a failing plant, and rebuilds it. Onancock’s state of the art plant doesn’t need to be rebuilt.

While both Accomack and Northampton Counties are both petitioning this week to be picked up by the HRSD, no agreement has been reached.

The Council heard several speak during the public comment period of the meeting. Common concerns included whether or not hook up to either Aqua or the HRSD would be mandatory, and what would folks do who have recently built a new system.

Atlantic Animal Hospital

Following the public comments, the Exmore Town Council voted to essentially ‘take a number’ to wait in line and request DEQ funding. This will give Exmore time to weigh its options before the DEQ hears its application.


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