PSD changes location of proposed Linwood sewage plant

Linwood, W.Va. – The Pocahontas Public Service District (PSD) no longer plans to build a wastewater treatment on Hawthorne Loop Road. During its meeting Tuesday night, the PSD voted to move the plant location to a site behind the Inn at Snowshoe, where a small package wastewater plant operates now. The board also approved the purchase of an option to buy two additional acres for construction of a larger facility.

The Department of Environmental Protection required the board to reconsider alternative systems for the Snowshoe area, including a centralized system designed by contract engineering firm WWMI. As discussed in yesterday’s news report, the board once again rejected a centralized system and renewed its commitment to build separate plants for the Snowshoe resorts and the valley.
But the board voted to change the location of the valley plant. In February, the board voted to build the plant on Hawthorne Loop Road. Tuesday night, the board selected a site behind the Inn at Snowshoe. Board chairman Tom Shipley discusses advantages of the site in Linwood proper.

“We already did the geotech and it passed,” he said. “We’ve already established we don’t have to do a Phase One archeological study, so that means no delay. We have a wasteload allocation. We also have a right-of-way established from the property behind the Inn and at the Innn and also from the road down to the receiving stream.”

WWMI president David Rigby, participating by speakerphone, says the Inn at Snowshoe site could reduce the approval process by six months.

“The site behind the Inn at Snowshoe, probably, if there’s issues to be resolved at any other site, the Inn at Snowshoe would probably work at about a six-month quicker pace than the other two sites, or other three sites.”

The board voted to build a state-of-the-art membrane biological reactor (MBR) plant in the valley. Rigby told the board that the DEP opinion was that membrane technology would be “overkill” for the Linwood plant. Nevertheless, the board approved spending an additional $232,000 for an MBR plant, which produces extremely clean effluent.

Board member David Litsey explains his rationale for supporting an MBR plant in the valley.

“The valley is, unquestionably, the most ecologically-sensitive area that we have,” he said. “The valley exists, basically, to make the mountain better.”

The proposed MBR treatment plant in Linwood will have a capacity of 150,000 gallons per day, average daily flow. For the mountaintop resorts, the PSD proposes to build a more conventional SBR treatment plant, with a capacity of 400,000 gallons per day, to be built at the site of the existing Snowshoe Village plant. The proposed two-plant project is expected to cost $19.6 million. WWMI estimated the cost of a previously rejected centralized design by Thrasher Engineering at $25.5 million.

For charts and maps of the various sewage alternatives considered by the PSD, see

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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