Lake Meredith

"Who's the head of the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center?" asked Jeremy Hart, author of the NRV Living blog. "Joe Meredith?"

I was impressed that he knew, but not surprised.  At the variety of business meetings I have attended recently, Joe Meredith, President of the Virginia Tech CRC, has been present, a committee member, or an office holder, from the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, to the NewVa Corridor Technology Council, to the New River Valley Economic Development Alliance.  He obviously works tirelessly to mutually connect the local business community and the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center.

In honor of his efforts, denizens of the CRC have unofficially named a geographical landmark for him.

The pond behind the building of high-tech start-up incubator VT KnowledgeWorks has been dubbed Lake Meredith.

I was asked by Wally Newton, VP Finance of Portaqua, a Member Company of VT KnowledgeWorks, how hard I thought it would be to turn water in the pond, a.k.a. Lake Meredith, into drinking water.

Portaqua makes portable water treatment systems. I looked out the window at the pleasant pond, a gazebo under construction at the water's edge, suitable for entrepreneurial dreaming.

Above the pond's bed of Virginia clay so beloved by me, the water looked harmless enough.  But I was taught by the Geoscience Faculty Emeritus at Virginia Tech!  I knew the water harbored road salt from the 460 Bypass, leavings from the nearby cattle research barns, and probably a dollop or two of fertilizer from the Turfgrass Research Center.  I would hesitate before sipping a glass of Lake Meredith on ice.

"Hard," I said.

"Piece of cake," Newton said.

Gonzalez showed me a one-second video made with his cell phone.  In it, a man clanks on a water supply pipe fed by a mountain-top spring.  He knocks sediment loose that clogs the pipe and keeps water from making it to the village five miles downhill.

At the top of the hill, Portaqua removed the pipe-clogging sludge and provided drinking water to the village below.

Yep. For Portaqua, Lake Meredith would be a piece of cake.

Statue coming soon of Joe Meredith in his characteristic pose – reaching out to shake your hand.

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