VDH Issues Recreational Water Advisory in Portion of Levisa River

February 28, 2023

Media Contact: Allison Phillips, Population Health Manager, Cumberland Plateau Health District, VDH allison.phillips@vdh.virginia.gov


VDH Issues Recreational Water Advisory in Portion of Levisa River 

(LEBANON, Va.) The Virginia Department of Health’s Cumberland Plateau Health District recommends that people and pets avoid contact with a portion of the Levisa River in Buchanan County due to an ongoing sewage overflow from sewer mains damaged by recent flooding. Activities to repair the sewer mains are ongoing, weather permitting.

The health advisory extends along the Levisa River from Oakwood downstream to the Kentucky state line in Buchanan County. The length of the affected waterway is approximately 26 miles.

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.  For your safety, humans and pets should avoid contact with the affected portions of the Levisa River until the sewer mains have been repaired and the advisory is lifted.

To prevent recreational water illnesses due to exposure to sewage release events, people should:

  • Avoid contact with the waterbodies noted above and observe advisory signage posted at waterbody access points.
  • Avoid any area of the waterbody where there is water with a foul odor, dead or dying fish, or discolored water.
  • Promptly wash skin with soap and water if you cannot avoid contact with water in the vicinity.
  • Seek medical care and notify your practitioner of the waterbody exposure if you experience adverse health effects after contact with the waterbody.

For more information on recreational water safety, call 276-935-4591 or see “Safely Enjoy Virginia’s Natural Waters” at www.SwimHealthyVA.com.