The following article is written by Ken Dufty.
Do we need to start talking about the impact on the aquifer that the HRSD project could cause? No one is talking about it. What are the true implications of dewatering our aquifer? Have we learned nothing from watching the pump down of the Potomac starting in 1946 after the formation of the HRSD and the first project at the Navy Base? A 220 foot drop in that aquifer and now they have to flush their toilets into their drinking water, claiming they can “pump” the land back up to combat saltwater intrusion because they did not monitor what was happening as they developed on steroids because there was no barrier regarding wastewater disposal.
That aquifer had hundreds of trillions of gallons of water in it, is thousands of feet thick, and stretches from Georgia to New Jersey. And they overpumped it and had to build a 500 million dollar pipe from Lake Gaston so they could survive and grow to another day where they again resumed theirs overpumping.
The ESVA draws from a cereal bowl-like finite water supply formed partially by a meteor strike. The water we drink from the Yorktown-Eastover complex took 10-30,000 years to perk down there through the confining units. We need to adopt and implement the recommendations in the HFESVA report in real-time…like now.
Many on the shore share these concerns and are troubled that the aquifer issue is not being talked about or factored into planning discussions.
For more data and information, read the USGS publication Hydrogeologic Framework of the Virginia Eastern Shore.
Exmore is being told that because they are in the Paleo channel, there is absolutely no issue with the availability of groundwater. However, as an HFESVA report documents, the paleo channel is a conduit for saltwater intrusion and actually cuts across three aquifers.
While the recent water quality report found chloride levels at 14mg/l +/- in Exmore’s drinking water. The report also cautions that because of the rate of transmissivity in the Upper and middle Yorktown, we are only seeing saltwater intrusion from pre-development timeframes. Thus, we should not be whistling past the hydrogeological graveyard and should be pursuing the report’s recommendation on page 24, last paragraph.
Indeed, I have about given up speaking to the Planning Commission and the BOS because I am speaking to a stopwatch and a gavel.
Like many of you, I have been doing this work for a very long time, and for nearly a decade as chief advisor to the Republican majority of the Rensselaer County Legislature in Troy, NY. Not once did they ever silence a constituent who took the time to come to the monthly meetings, warning them they only have 3 minutes and then countering what they said after they speak, not giving them a chance to respond because they blew out their time limit at the mike. And now both county governing/advisory bodies have decided they will no longer read into record citizens’ comments that were sent in through the mail or the net. They simply dismiss them by saying “they are part of the record”