Thursday, July 2, 2015

Do You Live in a Flood Prone Area? Then Good News!

The City of Richmond is now participating in the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS).

What is CRS?
CRS is a voluntary program sponsored by the National Flood Insurance Program through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It promotes and encourages community floodplain management activities that go above and beyond what is required.
How will this impact me?
For each specific activity the City of Richmond does to educate and reach out to citizens about the floodplain, flood prone areas, how to protect property or flood insurance, we earn points and receive a class level. For each class level we achieve, flood insurance policy holders receive a 5 percent discount. There are 10 class levels, 10 being the lowest with no discount. When the program begins this October, the City of Richmond’s flood insurance policy holders will receive a Class 8 10 percent discount on their policies. Who doesn’t love a discount!

Where can I find out more information?The best information can be found at Contact the Water Resources Division for the City of Richmond at 804-646-7586 to find out more about your property. An interactive FEMA floodplain map can be found on the city’s website at Check frequently for more information as it becomes available.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

2015 Flood Wall Test Schedule

The Department of Public Utilities performs its annual flood wall testing Saturday, June 20 through Friday, June 26.

Saturday, June 20, Mayo Bridge at Hull Street, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hull Street will be closed northbound from Commerce Road. The bridge will be closed to all , including vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians and runners.

Sunday, June 21, Mayo Bridge at 14th Street. 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. S. 14th will be closed southbound to Dock Street. The bridge will be closed to all , including vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians and runners.

Monday, June 22, Brander Street, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Brander Street entrance to the Wastewater Treatment Plant and Ancarrow's boat ramp will be closed.

Tuesday, June 23, S. 12th and E. Byrd Street, 7 a.m.-9 a.m. E. Byrd will be closed between S. 12th and Virginia streets. Dock Street, 9 a.m. to Noon. Dock will be closed from 18th to 21st streets.

Thursday, June 25, 21st and Cary at the Holocaust Museum, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cary will be closed from S. 20th to S. 22nd streets.

Friday, June 26, Goodes Street off Commerce, 9 a.m.-11 a.m. Goode will be restricted to one lane at the CSX railroad crossing.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Carbon monoxide vs. carbon dioxide

What’s the difference between carbon monoxide (CO) and carbon dioxide (CO2)? The names are very similar and they are both colorless and odorless gases, but there’s some critical differences.

Carbon monoxide is the result of an improperly ventilated fuel-burning appliance, such as an oil or gas furnace, gas hot water heater, gas oven, gas or kerosene space heater, fireplace or woodstove. In autos, CO is generated by a gasoline engine that does not use a catalytic converter. CO poisoning is the most common type of fatal poisoning.

Symptoms of CO poisoning include headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and soon unconsciousness or death. It is sometimes mistaken for food poisoning. You need to be especially alert to these symptoms in the event of power outages when people turn to generators that may be improperly ventilated or too close to a window. Cars left running in closed garages can also be deadly.

Carbon dioxide, on the other hand, occurs naturally in the atmosphere and is required for plant life. It is a natural byproduct of human and animal respiration. We breathe in oxygen and breath out carbon dioxide. CO2 is generated by gasoline engines that do have catalytic converters. CO2 poisoning is very rare and usually appears as “the bends” if you come up from a deep water dive too quickly.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Church Hill Water Tank Being Replaced

The Church Hill water tank is approximately 61 years old and has reached the end of its useful life. The rehabilitation of the existing tank is not considered cost effective and therefore the tank will be replaced. A replacement tank will ensure that the City continues to provide high-quality drinking water and distribution of water to customers. The City also plans to replace the existing street lighting substation equipment which is located on this site with new equipment to ensure continued reliable street lighting service.

How will the tank construction and demolition impact my water service?
During new tank construction, the existing tank will remain in service. Once the new tank is complete and on-line, the existing tank will be demolished. With this sequence of construction, we do not anticipate any water service disruptions.
Will this work impact access to the nearby Ethyl B. Furman park area?
The construction project will be within a fenced area and public access to the construction site will not be allowed due to safety considerations. Full use and access to the park will remain unchanged during construction.
Will this work impact traffic in the area?
The work is adjacent to public roads and some short-term lane closures will be needed. Lane closures will be scheduled for minimum disruption during peak traffic hours.

Will this work impact on-street parking?
During construction, on-street parking on N. 30th Street, between M and N streets will be restricted on the northwest side (closest to the tank site). Lane closures and restricted parking may span over multiple days. Depending on weather and construction progress, on-street parking may also be limited over the weekend. Signs will be posted. Remaining streets should remain unaffected.

Will school bus traffic be affected?
The work will not affect school bus traffic or existing school bus routes.
When will this work be performed?
The City of Richmond’s Department of Public Utilities anticipates that the work will mainly be performed between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Some isolated construction tasks may need to be performed after-hours or on weekends when water demands are reduced.

How long will it take?
New tank construction is anticipated to take 10-13 months. Existing tank demolition is anticipated to take 2-3 months.  The replacement of the existing street lighting substation and site restoration and final landscaping is anticipated to take 5-8 months.

Will the tank be drained?
The existing tank will be drained prior to demolition. Water will be drained to either the existing sewer system or trucked off-site by tankers.

Will the site be fenced?
The site will be fenced and the existing fence will be replaced by a new ornamental fencing system for facility security and safety.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

It's Mosquito Season

Every year from April 15 to Oct. 31, the City of Richmond Department of Public Utilities (DPU) treats storm inlets for mosquito larvae to reduce the number of mosquitoes and prevent the possible spread of West Nile virus.

More than 4,000 storm inlets will be tested for mosquito larvae and treated.

The process starts in Highland Park and will cover Ginter Park, Battery Park, and Azalea/Westminster by May 15. From May 16-June 15, crews will be in Windsor Farms, the West End, Oregon Hill, Randolph, The Fan, Maymont, and City Stadium; from June 16-July 15, Fairfield, Mosby, Church Hill, Fulton, and Shockoe; July 16-August 15 Willow Lawn area; Aug. 16-Sept. 15 Northside; and Sept. 16-Oct. 31, Southside.

West Nile Virus is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. An estimated 80 percent of people infected with the virus never show any symptoms, but the remaining 20 percent experience fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue and joint pain. One in 150 victims will develop severe symptoms, including fever, headache, a stiff neck, disorientation or confusion, vision loss, seizures, paralysis, and occasionally death. There is no treatment available for West Nile Virus except supportive care. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported seven cases of West Nile Virus in Virginia last year and one death.

The best defense is to protect yourself from mosquito bites and eliminate their breeding areas.
This means turning over or removing any container in your yard where rainwater collects, such as pots, plant trays, buckets, tires, or toys. Eliminate standing water on flat roofs, boats, tarps, and lawn furniture.

Empty and refresh bird baths once a week and clean roof gutters and downspots where water might pool.

Clear obstructions in ditches and creeks so they can flow and drain. Fill in puddles with soil, sand or gravel. Mosquitoes can breed in as little as a teaspoon of standing water and can detect human breathe from 75 feet away. Only the females bite as they need a blood diet to breed.

Wear long, loose, and light colored clothing and use insect repellent products with at least 50 percent DEET for adults and 30 percent for children. Mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk.

Bug (yellow) lights do not kill mosquitoes, but mosquitoes are less attracted to yellow light. Fans blowing on you while you are in the yard or deck will keep mosquitoes away as they are weak fliers. Citronella candles offer no more protection than any other candle. Bug zapper lights also make little significant difference. Given the choice between a bug zapper light and a human, the mosquito will always head for the human.

And don’t scare away the bats as they can swallow 500 to 1,000 mosquitoes an hour while in flight.

DPU treats all the storm sewers and catch basins within the city with non-toxic sprays which are safe for humans and pets and have been approved for use in storm sewers by the Virginia Department of Health.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Customer Photos

Jo Ann Rossi's daughter, Nora, unloads their natural gas clothes dryer.
Sarah Konisburg's hot water heater has a hula girl costume.