VDH issues recreational water advisory for Tuckahoe Creek, parts of the James River


RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) – The Virginia Department of Health has issued a recreational water advisory for all areas of Tuckahoe Creek from River Road.

The advisory comes after a ruptured sewer line near River Road around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

“I am disappointed,” said Gavin Trant. Thursday was supposed to be a fun day by the river with her grandmother.

According to Goochland County, 300,000 gallons of raw sewage was dumped into Tuckahoe Creek. The outing ended around 11 p.m. on July 27.

“We advise people to avoid contact,” said Margaret Smigo, waterborne hazard control coordinator at the Virginia Department of Health.

Recreational activities such as swimming, wading, tubing and whitewater kayaking should be avoided.

Areas where these activities should be avoided include the east and west branches of Tuckahoe Creek and the James River from Robious Landing Park in Chesterfield, Goochland and Henrico counties to Belle Isle in Richmond.

VDH says activities such as boating, fishing and canoeing can be proceeded with caution to avoid contact with water.

“It would have been nice to cool off in the water, but better safe than sorry,” said Laura Hayes of Richmond.

Like Gavin, Hayes has also planned a day on the river with a group of friends.

“We were just going to put our kayaks on the water and maybe have a picnic somewhere,” she said.

If you go in water, VDH urges you not to ingest it and to wash the parts of your body that touch it.

“Wash with soapy water or use disinfectant or wipes to wipe the water off your skin,” Smigo suggested.

Goochland Public Utilities is repairing the damaged section this week, and water samples are being tested by the Department of Environmental Quality to monitor for bacteria there.

Drinking water is not affected for the moment.

The Department of Environmental Quality will collect samples from Tuckahoe Creek and the James River to monitor bacteria levels.

To prevent recreational water-related illnesses from exposure to sewage discharge events, people should:

  • Avoid contact with the bodies of water mentioned above and observe the warning signs posted at access points to the bodies of water.
  • Avoid any area of ​​the body of water where there is water with a foul odor, dead or dying fish, or discolored water.
  • Wash the skin promptly with soap and water if you cannot avoid contact with nearby water.
  • Consult a physician and inform your practitioner of exposure to the body of water if you experience adverse health effects after contact with the body of water.

For more information, click on here.

VDH said the advisory would be lifted once bacteria levels in water samples were found to be acceptable.

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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