New River Health District urges residents with wells and septic systems to take extra precautions following severe weather and heavy rains. Floodwaters and runoff may contain sewage and agricultural or industrial waste, and can contaminate drinking water and damage septic systems.
Click here for a map of the Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) biological sampling sites in the New River Valley and surrounding area. The surface waters in red indicate bacteria impairment and may represent an increased risk of waterborne illness to anyone enjoying recreational water activities. Get the full report here.
VDH and the New River Health District offer the following safety tips for recreational water activities include:
Avoid getting water in your mouth. Never swallow water from an untreated water source.
Don’t swim if you have an open wound. Bacteria, viruses and other organisms can infect open wounds and cause more serious illness.
Remember to shower with soap and water after swimming.
Do not swim when you are ill.
Avoid swimming if dead fish are present. To report a fish kill, contact the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) at (804) 698-4000.