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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: May 27, 2008
June 5 meeting to cover water quality plans for five Prince Edward County streams
(RICHMOND) – A public input meeting to discuss a water qualityimprovement plan for five Prince Edward County stream segments on thestate “dirty waters” list will be held in Farmville, Thursday,June 5 at the USDA Service Center at 100 Dominion Drive. The meeting startsat 7 p.m.
Portions of Spring Creek, Briery Creek, Bush River, Little Sandy Creekand Saylers Creek are all on Virginia’s list of impaired or “dirtywaters” because they violate the state’s water quality standardfor bacteria. Levels of bacteria in these stream segments could lead toincreased risk of illness for people who come in contact with the streams’ waters.Bacteria sources have been identified as septic systems, direct dischargesof human waste, pet waste and agricultural practices in the area. Allof the streams flow into the Appomattox River.
Representatives from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation,Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, Old Dominion Resource Conservationand Development Council, Prince Edward County, Piedmont Soil and WaterConservation District and local residents have developed a draft implementationplan to remove bacteria from the streams so that they meet water qualitystandards. The draft plan will be presented at the June 5 meeting wherepublic comment and input is sought. In addition to the meeting a 30-daycomment period also begins June 5.
To reduce human sources of bacteria, the plan calls for replacing failingseptic systems, removing direct discharges of human waste to streams,septic system pump-outs and a pet waste disposal and education program.Corrective actions for agricultural bacteria sources include streamsidelivestock exclusion fencing, pasture management and establishing streamsidebuffers on cropland. Together these actions are designed to preserve waterresources, increase farm production and increase property values in thecommunity.
Once the plan is finished, DCR will work with the Piedmont Soil and WaterConservation District to assist the local community with implementation.
Strong local public participation ensures a final implementation plandriven by local input. Community involvement in the creation of the planand support of its implementation are critical factors in determiningits success in improving local water quality.
For more information on the meeting or public comment process contactRam Gupta, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, at (804)371-0991 or Ram.Gupta@dcr.virginia.gov.