Resident questions Put-In Creek discharge permit

by Sherry Hamilton - Posted on Aug 03, 2011 - 04:08 PM

Mathews resident Lynn Gillikin raised concerns about Riverside Convalescent Center’s disposal of wastewater into Put-In Creek during the Mathews County Board of Supervisors meeting on July 26.

Since 1987, the convalescent center has had a permit from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to dispose of wastewater from backwashing its water treatment system by pumping the water first into two holding tanks, then into a ditch that empties into Put-In Creek. The permit is due for renewal, and Gillikin asked the board to request that DEQ hold a public hearing on the permit renewal.

Gillikin, whose home is on the creek, told the board she was troubled by the fact that the discharge is from a chlorinated system that’s designed to remove impurities; that the water samples taken by DEQ are from potable drinking water, not from the effluent that’s pumped into the creek; and that there’s no oversight or testing of the effluent and sludge other than by "Riverside hires."

Gillikin said the effluent contains unacceptable levels of manganese, which can cause neurological damage in mammals, and she seemed indignant that the permit is based partly on the fact that Put-In Creek is already condemned.