Media inquiries: Please contact Gary Waugh, firstname.lastname@example.org, 804-786-5045.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: May 27, 2008
Contact: Gary Waugh, DCR Public Relations Manager, (804) 786-5045, email@example.com
June 5 meeting to cover water quality plans for five Prince Edward County streams
(RICHMOND) – A public input meeting to discuss a water quality improvement plan for five Prince Edward County stream segments on the state “dirty waters” list will be held in Farmville, Thursday, June 5 at the USDA Service Center at 100 Dominion Drive. The meeting starts at 7 p.m.
Portions of Spring Creek, Briery Creek, Bush River, Little Sandy Creek and Saylers Creek are all on Virginia’s list of impaired or “dirty waters” because they violate the state’s water quality standard for bacteria. Levels of bacteria in these stream segments could lead to increased risk of illness for people who come in contact with the streams’ waters. Bacteria sources have been identified as septic systems, direct discharges of human waste, pet waste and agricultural practices in the area. All of the streams flow into the Appomattox River.
Representatives from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, Old Dominion Resource Conservation and Development Council, Prince Edward County, Piedmont Soil and Water Conservation District and local residents have developed a draft implementation plan to remove bacteria from the streams so that they meet water quality standards. The draft plan will be presented at the June 5 meeting where public comment and input is sought. In addition to the meeting a 30-day comment period also begins June 5.
To reduce human sources of bacteria, the plan calls for replacing failing septic 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 streamside livestock exclusion fencing, pasture management and establishing streamside buffers on cropland. Together these actions are designed to preserve water resources, increase farm production and increase property values in the community.
Once the plan is finished, DCR will work with the Piedmont Soil and Water Conservation District to assist the local community with implementation.
Strong local public participation ensures a final implementation plan driven by local input. Community involvement in the creation of the plan and support of its implementation are critical factors in determining its success in improving local water quality.
For more information on the meeting or public comment process contact Ram Gupta, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, at (804) 371-0991 or Ram.Gupta@dcr.virginia.gov.