When Daniel Burke ran for Town Council a few years ago, water and wastewater concerns made up a big portion of his platform. As a matter of fact, he was the only one then, or at any time, that cared to address the problems, which are now coming home to roost. Burke posted the following as a comment on the Mirror, however we feel it is totally on point and deserved a second look.
As a young Engineer, I was part of a management team responsible for the installation of a new sanitary sewer system under a small town of 35,000 residents. It was an absolutely fascinating job.
When I came to Cape Charles 10 years ago it was apparent that the Town was overmatched in the technical expertise required to deal with its substantial water issues. One hint of a problem was when I saw people kayaking from Lake Monroe to Lake Madison in the aftermath of a large rain event.
I have witnessed many heroic attempts to alleviate the situation by digging up, digging in digging out, replacing and re-locating stormwater lines. I have watched the ponds form and reform over and over in The Park. The aquatic life is diverse. Residential sump pumps pump away 365 days a year to help feed lake Monroe.
The problem that no one seems to want to address is very simple: water does not like to flow uphill. It needs help with that. These helpers are called pumping stations. The good news is they work; the bad news is they are expensive, very expensive. It’s a hard problem. No one wants to deal with it so the powers that be continue to whistle past the graveyard.
I once ran for Town Council and pointed out some of these issues including a mention of the shortcomings of our drinking water. I believe it was recorded. Ever go away for a few weeks and notice upon return your water smells like rotten eggs? That’s hydrogen sulfide. It’s in most water supplies in tiny amounts but you should not be able to smell it. It’s toxic. Then there’s bromine. Also in most chlorinated systems. It generates Trihalomethanes. The VDE monitors THMs closely. It’s carcinogenic. I believe we have been slightly over the limit for the 10 years I have been here. Anyway, when I ran for TC I was told that my focus was too narrow. I was too concerned about our water system and not the bigger issues facing the town. To that, I always thought…wtf?
So because I don’t think it’s proper to point out problems and not suggest a solution I would (I can hear the air being sucked into business owners’ lungs already) attempt to pass legislation to put metered parking along the beach. That would help defray the expense to correct our water issues.