Bluefield, Va., waterline work

BLUEFIELD, Va. — Work on upgrading the Bluefield, Va., water treatment plant is officially underway.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held Wednesday for the improvement project that will increase the capacity of the plant from 1.5 million gallons a day to 1.95 million gallons.

“It will increase the capacity and we will do some repairs,” Town Manager Mike Watson said of the project, which is part of a $1.9 million initiative started last year.

The project also included water lines along North College Street in order to supply water to Pocahontas and Falls Mills, he said, we will as replace all meters.

“We did that (supply water to Pocahontas) already when they had some issues,” Watson said, using a temporary pump.

The Tazewell County Public Service Authority is planning to install a permanent pump station that could be used any time.

“You can then fill the tank in Pocahontas from the Town of Bluefield,” he said.

Having enough water to do that is one reason the plant needed more capacity.

More than 2,000 linear feet on North Street was replaced, he said, because it must be upgraded so it can serve as an emergency water source. The water line is on Rt. 102 between Thayer Street and Putnam Road.

Watson said it’s not a matter of a need for more water due to a growth in the customer base, but the needed upgrades will make the system more efficient and, in the long run, save money.

Modifications at the plant itself to increase the capacity include changing filters, pumps and some infrastructure work.

“It will also cut costs,” he said. “If you provide a better flow you can operate less hours. Hopefully, it will be a money-saving option.”

Leak detection will be easier, he added, another cost-saving measure.

Three existing wells will also be developed further to meet the additional source water needs of the plant.

The grant came from the Virginia Water Supply Revolving Fund.

— Contact Charles Boothe at cboothe@bdtonline.com

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