Four Winds to pay pollution penalty

Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 9:12 am

Four Winds Club, which operates Four Winds Campground in Rappahannock Academy, has agreed to pay a $10,500 penalty because its sewage treatment plant discharged more ammonia than allowed into the Rappahannock River and because of other violations associated with its state water pollution permit.

In regular monitoring reports it submits to the state Department of Environmental Quality, club officials acknowledged that discharge limits for ammonia were exceeded for the months of March, April, and May.

In addition, a regular report about the plant’s discharge pipe was submitted three months late in April, and it failed to include photographs and other requirements, and a groundwater monitoring report was submitted two months late in June.

The report related to the plant’s discharge pipe failed to include a dye test that helps to determine the integrity of the pipe.

In a proposed consent order signed by club president Wayne Roberts, Four Winds agreed to pay the civil penalty within 30 days of the effective date of the order.

The club also agreed to perform the dye test to determine if all the effluent is reaching the end of the discharge pipe and to submit a report of the findings of the test with photographs by April 2013. It also agreed to submit a plan and schedule to DEQ by Aug 1. to correct the ammonia violations.

Ammonia-nitrogen is a nutrient that encourages plant growth. Ammonia and other sources of nitrogen are a major pollutant of the Chesapeake Bay.

Nutrients promote the growth of algae during the summer, but when the algae die, the oxygen needed by other organisms is consumed as the algae decomposes.

The State Water Control Board will consider the consent order after a period of public comment that ends Oct. 11.

Comments about the proposed consent order may be e-mailed to Stephanie Bellotti at or via fax to (703) 583-3821.


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