Currently, SERCAP’s Regional Program is working with the very small Town of Phenix in Charlotte County, VA, in order to assist them in improving their outdated and deteriorating water system. The Town of Phenix has a population of 226 residents, 60% of whom are low-income individuals, and 32.3% of whom are Senior Citizens. Previously, SERCAP’s Facilities Development Grant program funded a Professional Engineering Report (PER) for the system, which suggested that the total project cost to upgrade the system would be nearly $1.8 Million. However, securing funding for a System Improvement Project at that level for such a small customer-base is a very challenging proposition for the Town.
Recently, it was also discovered that one of the Town’s wells has levels of radiological contaminants that exceed the EPA’s Primary Maximum Contaminant Level for safe/acceptable exposure. This means that a new well will have to be developed to replace the non-compliant well, in addition to the other necessary upgrades. In order to ensure that the Town will be able to cover the long-term costs of these critical improvements, SERCAP is working with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) to complete a Waterworks Business Operations Plan (WBOP), which will improve the capacity (Technical, Financial, and Managerial) of the system, allowing it to function in a sustainable manner. Once the WBOP is complete, it will enable the Town to receive VDH funding for the water system improvement project.
Without SERCAP’s Technical Assistance (TA) and other similar programs and services, many communities, low-income individuals, and families would be forced to go without such necessities as water and wastewater infrastructure solutions, community infrastructure needs, indoor plumbing, properly functioning wells and septic systems, safe and affordable housing, and more. It is important to remember that even in the United States in the 21st Century; there are those who do not have reliable access to clean, safe drinking water, environmentally sound septic facilities, and affordable housing. In order to help SERCAP continue to provide assistance to both the individuals and communities in need, please consider making a donation to SERCAP’s Water Life! Fund!
*Funding for SERCAP’s Regional Department is made possible by the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Office of Community Services’ (OCS) Grant, USDA RD’s Technitrain Program, the Drinking Water Compliance Grant through the EPA, and the EPA Private Well Grant. Additionally, all of SERCAP’s programs in Virginia, are leveraged by a Budget Appropriation from the Virginia General Assembly, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing & Community Development (DHCD).