A small group of lake residents hope their solution to eliminate stray voltage around docks will gain the ears of state officials.
On Aug. 21, a work group of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development will meet in Glen Allen to discuss revisions to the Virginia Construction Code. Locals Neil Harrington, Jim Erler and John Lane want lake residents to attend the work group meeting to show public support for their proposal that calls for an exception to the National Electric Code to remove ground wires between the house and residential docks.
In anticipation of the meeting in Glen Allen, the trio held an informational meeting at the Saunders Volunteer Fire Company building last Thursday to explain their proposal and earlier research into the causes of stray voltage. Another informational meeting will be held this Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Scruggs Volunteer Fire and Rescue building, located at 2130 Bluewater Drive in Moneta.
About 16 people turned out for last week’s meeting, including Del. Kathy Byron, R-Forest.
So far, there have been at least two instances of people at Smith Mountain Lake receiving electric shocks from stray voltage in water near docks. In 2017, a teenager was shocked after touching a lift. In 2018, a 17-year-old girl was taken to the hospital after receiving a shock at a Gills Creek dock and falling into the water.
-For more information, see the August 14 edition of the Smith Mountain Eagle-