Program next week to focus on SWIFT

Published 10:34 pm Friday, March 6, 2020

The next Afternoon Conversations on Tuesday will cover the Sustainable Water Initiative of Tomorrow, or SWIFT. This Afternoon Conversations program will be held from 2 to 3 p.m. at the Phillips-Dawson House, 137 Bank St. This event is free to attend.

According to, the Hampton Roads Sanitation District’s SWIFT program “is designed to reduce nutrient discharge to the Chesapeake Bay, provide fresh water for Southeast Virginia, and has the potential to mitigate land subsidence.”

Jamie Mitchell, chief of technical services for HRSD, will give the presentation on Tuesday about HRSD’s managed aquifer recharge program.


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“(Mitchell’s) work on SWIFT is really interesting because the potential environmental impact is really multi-faceted,” Community Services Librarian Matthew Thompson wrote in an email. “As population pressure in eastern Virginia continues to grow, all of those people need more water. Much of our water comes from the ground supply, but wastewater after treatment is discharged into rivers.

“In other words, treated water is not necessarily replenishing the ground supply. Now as the underground water table sinks it creates space for salt water to creep in, which presents all kinds of problems for flooding, loss of agricultural production and drinking water.”

Afternoon Conversations is a series of talks that are held monthly as a collaboration between Suffolk Public Library and the Suffolk-Nansemond Historical Society. These talks dive into local history topics and other subjects of local importance, and each talk is conducted in a relaxed format that allows the audience to ask questions.

This Afternoon Conversation is part of “Chesapeake Requiem: Through the Lens,” a variety of different programs that are being held this spring in honor of the 125th anniversary of the Suffolk Literary Club program, for environmental awareness and appreciation of the Chesapeake Bay.

Visit for more information on Afternoon Conversations and Chesapeake Requiem: Through the Lens. For more information on SWIFT, visit