a new study, much of the Shenandoah River is polluted with unsafe levels of E. coli.
Using state records, it was found that more than 90 percent of the water quality monitoring stations where the state regularly samples the Shenandoah River found fecal bacteria (also known as E. coli) at levels unsafe for human contact.
Snapshot from WHSV video of Shenandoah RiverThe study, conducted by the Environmental Integrity Project, says the pollution is because of animal waste runoff.
When it rains, that waste can run into the river and cause trouble, because the levels aren’t only unsafe for fish, but also for humans.
The Shenandoah Rive runs through Shenandoah, Page, Rockingham, and Augusta counties, which, combined, have about 159 million chickens, 16 million turkeys and 528,000 cows raised annually.
as declared in He said there’s always room for improvement in the state’s nutrient management program, but Virginia has seen an overall improvement in bacterial contamination in the Shenandoah River basin.
Waste-water treatment, residential runoff and wildlife also impact water quality, he said.
Furthermore, the state’s manure control system allows manure containing far more phosphorous to be applied than the crops need, according to the report.
The report focuses on four counties in the bucolic Shenandoah Valley watershed that are also home to a large-scale farming industry.
When it comes to E. coli, Virginia should do a better job of issuing public advisories about the elevated levels, the report advises.
Cows, chickens taint Shenandoah River with E. coli
according to RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – The bucolic Shenandoah River is sending some not-so-lovely material through Virginia, according to a new report that finds the state is not adequately managing the waste from millions of chickens and cows.
The Environmental Integrity Project analyzed hundreds of public records and concluded that the runoff from excessive livestock manure is polluting the Shenandoah.
The Department of Environmental Quality says there’s room for improvement, but bacterial contamination in the Shenandoah is improving.
Wednesday’s report also found high levels of phosphorous, which feeds algae and can kill fish.
The Virginia Farm Bureau Federation is calling the report “an opinion piece.”
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