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Danville Utilities is seeking permission from property owners along the Dan River upstream from the water treatment plant to carry out geophysical surveys. The surveys would be part of a study to determine if installation of a riverbank filtration system would be feasible.
A riverbank filtration system, if feasible, could provide the city with a second source of drinking water.
“Many cities have had success in expanding their water supply with these systems,” Barry Dunkley, division director of water and wastewater treatment for Danville Utilities, said Tuesday. “We have hired a consulting firm to assess whether such a system could provide us with sufficient quantity and quality of water.”
The make that determination, Dunkley said it will be necessary to collect information on the sediment next to the Dan River.
“These surveys would be performed by a crew of one or two geologists,” Dunkley said. “They would insert short, small-diameter stainless steel rods into the ground in order to take electrical resistivity measurements.”
Dunkley said the rods would be placed in the ground only on a temporary basis. “Their work would not be intrusive or destructive. There may be a need to clear brush in overgrown areas to provide paths for survey lines.”
Property owners who provide permission will notice short, plastic “flagging” strips temporarily tied to tree limbs, fence posts and shrubs about 100 feet apart on grid lines. All flagging would be removed at the end of the study.
The consulting firm is Emery & Garrett Groundwater Investigations. The firm plans to collect this information in the next couple of months, weather permitting. The data would be analyzed to determine locations for exploratory test well drilling.
Danville Utilities provides natural gas, water, wastewater and telecommunications services in Danville and distributes electricity to approximately 42,000 customer locations in a 500-square-mile service territory covering Danville, the southern third of Pittsylvania County, and small portions of Henry and Halifax counties.