August 27, 2020
For More Information Contact Robert Parker, public information officer, Western Region, firstname.lastname@example.org
AVOID HEALTH HAZARDS IN PORTIONS OF LEWIS CREEK AND CLINCH RIVER DUE TO POTENTIAL THREATS OF RAW SEWAGE
(LEBANON, Virginia) — The Virginia Department of Health recommends against recreational water use by people and pets (swimming, wading, boating, tubing) and consuming fish from portions of Lewis Creek and the Clinch River in Russell County due to an ongoing sewage overflow from the collection system of the wastewater treatment plant serving the Town of Honaker. These advisories are in effect until further notice.
Equipment issues at the wastewater treatment plant are suspected to be contributing to the raw sewage overflow into Lewis Creek and repairs are under way to correct the situation.
The advisory extends along Lewis Creek just south of state route 80/Redbud Highway in the Town of Honaker to Puckett’s Hole on the Clinch River at state route 652/Chestnut Road in Russell County.
For your safety, swimming or other recreational activities for people and pets — including wading, tubing, canoeing and kayaking — are prohibited. Catch-and-release fishing is still permitted.
Swallowing contaminated water can cause gastrointestinal illnesses, with vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain or fever. Contact with contaminated water also can cause infections of the ears, nose, throat and skin.
VDH recommends these safety tips for those who enjoy swimming, wading, kayaking, canoeing or rafting in Virginia’s rivers:
- Avoid swimming in natural waters for a few days after a heavy rain event.
- Avoid swallowing water when swimming.
- Avoid getting water shot up your nose when swimming, especially in warm shallow water.
- Avoid swimming or wading in with open wounds or cuts.
- Look for posted signs near the swimming area.
- Don’t swim in areas where there are dead fish present.
- Don’t swim if you are ill.
- Shower with soap and clean water after swimming.
- Avoid swimming in muddy water of lakes, ponds and rivers or where algal blooms are visible.
- Avoid swimming in unfamiliar ponds, streams, creeks, ditches and canals.
- Be aware of local weather conditions prior to recreational activities.
- When in doubt, stay out!
For more information on recreational water safety, call 276-889-7621 or see “Safely Enjoy Virginia’s Natural Waters” at www.SwimHealthyVA.com.
(NOTE: The attached warning sign will be posted at river access points.)
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