May 1, 2021
For More Information Related to Public Health Contact: Larry Hill, VDH Eastern Regional Public Information Officer – (757) 683-9175
For More Information Related to Sewer Main Repair Contact: Paul Retel, City of Suffolk Department of Public Utilities – (757) 514-7019
VDH URGES CAUTION DUE TO SEWAGE RELEASE TO SHINGLE CREEK,
AND FROM CONFLUENCE OF SHINGLE CREEK TO WESTERN BRANCH OF THE NANSEMOND RIVER
Pubic advised to avoid water contact
(SUFFOLK, Va.)— The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is recommending an abundance of caution when recreating in the vicinity of Shingle Creek and from its confluence with the Nansemond River (below Route 32 and Main Street) to the confluence of the Western Branch of the Nansemond River (near Sack Point), located in the City of Suffolk, Virginia, until further notice. On Thursday April 29, a damaged sewer force main, adjacent to the Norfolk Southern railroad line, was identified as leaking into Shingle Creek. The release to Shingle Creek at this location is estimated at a rate of 100,000 gallons per day. Repairs are currently underway on the damaged line which is difficult to reach due to the surrounding landscape.
The City of Suffolk and Virginia Department of Health will continue to monitor water quality in Shingle Creek and the Nansemond River to assess the risk to the public from the ongoing sewage release. Based on the volume, location of the spill, monitoring results collected on April 28, 2021, the shellfish growing areas directly downstream of the release are not currently impacted. Bacteria which could pose a health risk to recreational users are also currently below advisory thresholds.
To prevent recreational water illnesses due to sewage release events, people should:
- Avoid contact with any area of the waterbody where there is water with a foul odor, dead or dying fish, or discolored water.
- If you cannot avoid contact with water in the vicinity, promptly wash skin with soap and water.
- If you experience adverse health effects after contact with the waterbody, seek medical care and notify your practitioner of the waterbody exposure.
For more information on how to keep safe while recreating in natural bodies of water, visit www.SwimHealthyVa.com.