Fredericksburg City Beat

This blog includes news about City Hall, city schools and other 22401 news.

Pamela Gould reports on City Hall. You can reach her at 540-735-1972 or Robyn Sidersky reports on city schools. You can reach her at 540-374-5413 or

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Another good reason not to use tanning beds

The UV bulbs that help college kids prepare for spring break are increasingly being used by municipal wastewater plants to kill bacteria.

As part of the $3.8 million worth of wastewater treatment plant upgrades the City Council approved Tuesday night, Fredericksburg will be changing the way it disinfects water before putting it back in the Rappahannock River.

Instead of using chlorine to kill the unwanted organisms, and then using sulfur dioxide to take out the chlorine (since you can’t put chlorinated water in a river), Fredericksburg will be using ultraviolet light to wage war against the little bugs. Chlorine’s a pretty dangerous chemical to have around in large quantities, so this will make things safer for the people who work at the plant, and for the community around it.

Public Works Director Doug Fawcett described the new disinfection process as giving the bacteria "a really bad sunburn." So bad that they die with no chance of reproducing.

So think about that the next time you’re tempted to seek a little glow under those bright purplish lights. 

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