The return of drought conditions to parts of Southwest Virginia has prompted Pepper’s Ferry Regional Wastewater Treatment Authority to stop issuing rebates to member jurisdictions.
The Authority implemented the rebate program in March after months of excessive flows into the facility, caused by runoff into sewer drains from rain and snow melt, resulted in higher bills to the jurisdictions. At the same time, the board of directors authorized the Authority to suspend billing for recycle flows at the plant. Recycled flow is treated water used at the Fairlawn plant that has to be retreated.
Executive Director Clarke Wallcraft said bills mailed out in July for June flows are the last bills that will include rebates and suspended billing for recycled flows.
Over the course of the rebate period, he said the member jurisdictions received bill credits totaling $561,231 (nearly $350,000 from rebates and more than $207,000 for non-billing of recycle flows).
Even with these credits being issued to the jurisdictions, he said the Authority “still had a healthy net income” for the fiscal year that ended July 31.
The total net income for the 2009-10 fiscal year was $677,802, according to Wallcraft.
“We were glad to be able to do that to help our members,” he said, adding that it was especially good to be able to credit members’ bills given the difficulty localities are having in meeting their budget needs.
Operations and Maintenance Manager Mac McCutchan said this area was ahead of normal in terms of rain until around April. He said only 3.4 inches of rain was recorded at the Fairlawn facility during the month of July.
“We’ve had 18 inches so far for the calendar year. We should be around 21 inches if we’re going to get to our average of 42 inches for the year,” McCutchan said.