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Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Expedition Visits Bear Garden

The Expedition Visits Bear Garden
Friday July 8th, Day 14

We woke up well rested and got an early start on the batteau. Everyone who canoed by themselves the previous day got to relax in the batteau today. We took a fun adventure in the early morning to a canal culvert, it was handmade and very eerie but fascinating. For those of you who don’t know the difference between a canal culvert and an aquaduct- a culvert is a stone bridge that is always on a tributary, while aquaducts are wooden bridges that transport water.
We met up with Dominion at their new power plant, Bear Garden, in Buchingham County. After arriving an hour early, we were surprised with Gatorade, rides to the plant and pizza! When we arrived, we were greeted warmly by many Dominion workers. Everyone got to use real bathrooms with plumbing and sit in big comfortable board room chairs. We also got straw hats as we moved to the break room for an array of pizza and cookies. We ate while Don and Beverly, our lovely friends from Dominion, gave us a presentation about Bear Garden. We learned all about the plant. For example, we learned how they follow permit regulations and control the temperature of the water that they release back into the river. They also make sure they track chlorine, oil & grease, suspended solids, chromium, zinc, toxicity, 126 priority pollutants and they make sure the water has a 6-9 pH before entering the James. The plant takes in about 2.8 to 3 million gallons of water a day (for fire hydrants, services and power) and releases about 10.5 million gallons a month. They have 2 discharge pipes: 1 that empties into the James and 1 that empties into a creek.

After the power point presentation we took a tour of the plant- then it was back on the batteau and canoes to head to camp. Right across from the new power plant was the old one named Bremo Bluff. It had a large intake point at it’s out take point, the water released was 105 degrees F. We did not see any aquatic plant life until several 100 yards later.

Only a few minutes later, it started to storm. The people on the bateau stayed dry under the canopy while the solo canoers got soaking wet. We worked fast to get up the tarp and the cooks of the day: Isaac, Kelvin, troy & Claire made everyone a warm meal of beef stroganoff. Then the group ran off to bed due to the rain that had struck again.

Written By: Cara Renee Chiocca

Reporters: Grant Gibson, Walt Chaney & Cara Chiocca

Check Out The Expedition Tour of Bear Garden Under "Videos"

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