The Henry County Public Service Authority (PSA) is expanding its Philpott Water Treatment facility to increase production by 50%. Improvements to the water intake valve will require the installation of a cofferdam in the Smith River near the facility on Philpott Drive, Bassett.

A cofferdam is a temporary barrier that diverts flowing water around an enclosed work area in the river.

“The expanded water plant and the new water intake valve will help us in many ways,” said Mike Ward, PSA Director of Regulatory Compliance. “We will be able to run the plant more efficiently while also producing more water, and the new intake will help protect fish and their eggs from being pulled into the pump station.”

The temporary cofferdam will extend to approximately half the width of the river. PSA officials believe the impact will be minimal on recreational users of the Smith River.

“Paddlers and fishermen will be able to easily pass the cofferdam to continue downstream,” Ward added.

The United States Army Corps of Engineers and the Virginia Department of Quality have approved the Virginia Water Protection Permit issued to the PSA for this project. The construction of the intake valve should be completed by October.