Water Quality Results Reveal Impaired Streams in the Valley

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Many of the streams in the Valley have been ruled "impaired" in a new water quality study covering all of Virginia.

The study includes samples from various waterways across the state.

The samples are tested for various problems such as pollutants and compared to standards set by the Clean Water Act.

Some of the impaired streams in the area include the North River, Cooks Creek in Bridgewater and Blacks Run in Harrisonburg.

One of the biggest problems in the Valley is the presence of bacteria in the water.

"The biggest impairment is bacteria. We use E.Coli as our indicator bacteria, and E.Coli in and of itself, for many individuals, is not harmful, but for some it is," says James Shiflet, the Water Resources Planner for the Department of Environmental Quality in Harrisonburg. "As far as swimming in a stream that may actually have an E.Coli impairment on it, it's use at your own risk."

Not all of the Valley's streams are impaired.

Shiflet says the study removed a two mile section of Muddy Creek just outside Bridgewater from the list, along with another 235 miles of Valley streams.