Tuesday, March 14, 2006

the mother of all outhouses

At the dawn of the 20th century there was no City water, gas and sewer in the Woolen Mills Village. People had wells, they heated with wood, coal or fuel oil and they had Johnny houses, out-houses, one and two holers located in their back yards.

At the dawn of the 20th Century, Forty years after the establishment of the Woolen Mills by Henry Clay Marchant, there was no Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority.

At that time The City of Charlottesville had a straight-pipe which ran to the Rivanna River, Presumably the effluent received little treatment. It was dumped into the Rivanna with comments like:

?flush hard, Richmond needs the drinking water.?

Today, following annexation into the City of Charlottesville we have most of the Modern Conveniences. We?ve got running water and indoor plumbing.

The City of Charlottesville and the County of Albemarle have a first class outfit, RWSA, which treats and releases waste water received from 5 pumping stations in the area.

In the Woolen Mills neighborhood one paradox has arisen with the arrival of the 21st century.

We have taken our Johnny Houses down. RWSA, our neighbor to the east and south has built the Mother of All Johnny Houses on a hill atop the south banks of the Rivanna River and Moore?s Creek, opposite the Woolen Mill Buildings.

It's an admirable proposition. Dewatered sewage sludge is mixed with wood chips and lime, then composted, via aerobic biological process until all the pathogens are dead.

One problem. This stinking process happens in an open building next to a populated area.

It is time to close the outhouse door. We support the composting program but we want the stench contained.

The odor can be contained with a capital expenditure supported by RWSA users.

This malodorous exploitation of a neighborhood would not stand in Fifeville or Farmington. Why is it ok in the historic Woolen Mills?

Close the Johnny House door, enclose the composting facility.

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Blogger Barrett said...

That lawyer's line from the first "Jurassic Park" movie comes to mind here.

I really, really hope that the expenditure is approced.

- Barrett

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leave to you to raise a "stink" about the RWSA.

Blogger emory said...

Dear Anonymous,

Do you feel it is appropriate that working class people should live with the odor delivered via sewer line when it is technically possible to contain the smell?

I am not raising a stink about RWSA. They are a first rate agency. They are responsive. They do an excellent job with their budget.

As users of RWSA's services, we must provide the funds necessary to correct this condition.

The stink I am raising is over peoples' willingness to flush their commodes and not wonder where the "grey water" is going and who and what it is affecting.



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