Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Citizens Academy 2019, Third Week, Water Treatment Plant

To view as slideshow, click on first photo
All here and ready to go

Plant Superintendent Ricky Hatfield gives the welcome

Program and Operations Supervisor Grace LeRose (center) explains creek restoration projects and watersheds

Program and Operations Manager Tony Pyzowski talks about replacing lead pipes

Students broke up into three groups to tour the Water Treatment Plant

The plant is located on the James River, south of Carytown and near the Carillon neighborhood. It has been there since the 1920s.

Fish wandering in from the river to the plant intake become a snack bar for birds

Thursday, October 10, 2019

City of Richmond and Regional Partners Monitoring River Levels

The City of Richmond is closely monitoring the river levels, along with our regional partners Chesterfield, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, and Powhatan counties, as part of the James River Regional Flow Management Plan. The recent dry weather and lack of significant rainfall in western Virginia could lead to a call for voluntary water conservation in the metro Richmond area.

The Richmond region is supplied with water by the James River basin, the largest watershed in the state. Water levels locally are affected when there are dry conditions and lack of rainfall within the drainage basin.

In the event river levels in the James reach the stage for conservation measures, an advisory will be issued asking all residents in the City of Richmond and surrounding counties to voluntarily reduce water usage.

Water conservation, though, should be an everyday practice for all residents and businesses. Conserving water is an important tool in reducing water demand. Water conservation tips can be found here

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Citizens Academy 2019 -- Second Week at the Wastewater Treatment Plant

To view as a slideshow, click on the first photo.

After hearing about stormwater management and the flood wall, we're ready to tour!

First stop is where all the garbage that is not sewerage is pulled out of the water... several of these big combing machines

Just a sample of all the things in wastewater that are not biodegradable

We have to take several large containers of this to the landfill daily; and even throughout the night when it rains. Who flushed a Big Gulp cup? And also, flushable wipes do not flush. Put them in the trash can, not the toilet.

Outside the filtration building

Now the combed out water is ready to treat

Geese like to hang out at the Wastewater Treatment Plant, but this group is heading to Florida

We thought these were bats eating bugs and mosquitoes, but a Twitter follower said they're probably chimney swift birds.

Separating this stuff from the water

Night falls at the Wastewater Plant and class is dismissed!

Friday, October 4, 2019

Why You Should Care About Public Natural Gas Week

Every organization, every cause, every product nowadays has a self-proclaimed day, week, or month! So, why not natural gas? It’s a commodity in abundant supply, right here in the U.S. It does a fabulous job of cooking our food, keeping us warm in the winter, heating our water, lowering emissions -- the list goes on! What’s not to like about natural gas? This is why the American Public Gas Association decided years ago to declare the first full week in October National Public Natural Gas Week. This year, it takes place Oct. 6-12, 2019.

Here in Richmond, the Department of Public Utilities operates the 8th largest municipally owned natural gas utility in the United States, Richmond Gas Works. This is among more than 900 publicly owned gas utilities. Richmond Gas Works is also one of the most historic natural gas utilities, having begun in 1792 as City Gas Works. Back then, natural gas was used as a fuel source for lighting.

Today, Richmond Gas Works serves more than 110,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers located within the City of Richmond, Henrico County, portions of northern Chesterfield and a small area along Route 33 in Hanover County.

Richmond Gas Works improves the local economy, provides jobs, and broadens the tax base of the community. Richmond Gas Works also provides compressed natural gas to power local city fleet vehicles, Greater Richmond Transit Company (GRTC) buses, and vehicles with other private companies such as Richmond International Airport, St. Catherine’s School and Central Virginia Waste Management.

The advantages of having a public natural gas utility are numerous. And much deserving of its own week.

Try the Natural Gas crossword puzzle below. Download and print (for best results, print in landscape mode).

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Citizens Academy 2019 - First Week at the Operations Center

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DPU Director Calvin Farr welcomed the 2019 class

2019 Citizens Academy class

Deputy Director Wayne Lassiter gave the financial overview

Program and Operations Manager Larry Grant explained customer service 

Utilities Field Supervisor Rodney Munford explains meter reading process

Program and Operations Manager Mickel Johnson explains streetlight history and operations

Warehouse and Materials Supervisor Jeff Carter 

Streetlight display

Answering questions after the presentation

Tour of the SCADA room to learn how natural gas flow around the region is monitored

Meter reading questions were popular!

Filling out satisfaction surveys after the session

Boxed dinners!

More meter questions!

The Operations Center Atrium

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Natural Gas Safety You Need to Know

Hazard Awareness and Prevention

The U.S. natural gas transmission and distribution system has the best safety record of any type of transportation system in the country. Natural gas is clean, convenient, and efficient, which makes it the popular energy choice.

Like all forms of energy, however, it must be handled properly. Despite an excellent safety record, a natural gas leak caused by damage to a pipeline may pose a hazard and has the potential to ignite. Richmond Gas Works works diligently to ensure pipeline safety through a variety of measures, including the one-call Miss Utility and Dig Safe programs, inspections, design and construction practices, workforce qualifications, public education, industry safety practices and government oversight, pipeline markers and facility mapping, natural gas leak surveys, and patrols of critical natural gas facilities.

Leak Response

A natural gas leak is usually recognized by the smell, sight, or sound.

Smell: Natural gas is colorless and odorless. Before it reaches you, a distinctive, pungent odor -- a rotten eggs smell -- is added so that you will recognize it quickly.

Sight: You may see a white cloud, mist, fog, or bubbles in standing water, or vegetation that appears to be dead or dying for no apparent reason.

Sound: You may hear an unusual noise like roaring, hissing or whistling.

What should you do if you suspect a leak? Protect life first. Go to a location where the smell is no longer present and call 911 or the City of Richmond Department of Public Utilities at 646-4646.

Do not strike a match, use telephones, switch on or off appliances, lights or even a flashlight in the area where you smell natural gas. In very specific circumstances, those actions could produce sparks that might ignite and cause an explosion.

How to Get Additional Information

City of Richmond Department of Public Utilities -- 804-646-4646.

Web --

Call Before You Dig (Virginia) -- 811 or 800-552-7001

Web -- Office of Pipeline Safety --