Archive for the ‘Featured’ Category

A River of Green

A River of green – North Fork of the Shenandoah River at Strasburg Park, Shenandoah County Virginia.

                                     

Much of the Shenandoah River watershed needs Rain

This summer water levels in the upper portion of the North Fork Shenandoah River are in stark contrast from the water levels during the summer of 2018 when parts of the the Shenandoah River watershed received record levels of rain.

 

VDH Harmful Algal Bloom Advisory updated to include larger stretch of North Fork Shenandoah River

IMPORTANT: VDH has expanded the stretch of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River included in the Harmful Algal Bloom Advisory. The stretch of the River included in the updated advisory now starts at Willow Grove, south of Woodstock, in Shenandoah County, then north all the way to Front Royal, in Warren County.
VDH – The advisory for the North Fork Shenandoah River has been expanded due to the detection of cyanobacteria in algal mats at sites above and below the previous advisory issued from Lower River Road to Strasburg. While cyanobacteria mats at those three locations appeared wide-spread, they are not wide-spread throughout the entire ~53 mile stretch of this advisory. Weather and other environmental factors can cause potentially toxic algal mats to detach from the river floor, float along the surface, and accumulate along shorelines. People and pets should avoid contact and accidental ingestion of algal mats within this area of the river.
The drinking water plants at Woodstock, Strasburg, and Winchester are working with state and county officials to ensure the continued safety of drinking water and will continue to monitor for algal toxins at the plant intake.
https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/content/uploads/sites/178/2021/08/NF-Shenanodah-HAB-Status-Report-8.10.21.pdf

Decreasing Water Levels and Algal Blooms Pose Threats to Human Health

FOSR’s 2021 Summer E. coli Results through 07.28.2021

Yesterday, and for the past five weeks, the E. coli levels measured at site FW36, Manassas Run, upstream of the confluence with main-stem Shenandoah River at Morgan’s Ford, just upstream of the public boat landing, have exceeded the previous Virginia water-quality standard threshold of 235 E. coli colony forming units per 100 mL of water sample for primary recreational use.

07.28.2021 FW36 – Manassas Run 648.8 MPN of E. coli colony-forming units per 100 mL.

FOSR 2021 Summer Quantitative E. coli Concentration Results through 07.28.2021

The very noticeable decreasing water levels and increasing algal blooms in the Shenandoah River watershed pose potential health threats to humans, pets, livestock, and wildlife.

VDH’s Prevention Tips for when Harmful Algal Blooms are present – 

  • Avoid direct contact with water that has an unusual color, odor, or where advisory signs are posted. This means no swimming, wading, paddling, diving, or water-skiing in affected waters.
  • If direct contact has been made with water containing cyanobacteria, wash off with fresh water. In some cases, skin irritation will appear after prolonged exposure. If symptoms persist, consult your local health care provider.
  • Never drink untreated water. Do not drink water from an area where cyanobacteria have been identified.
  • Do not let children, pets, or livestock get into or drink from affected waters.
  • People that are prone to respiratory allergies or asthma should avoid areas with cyanobacterial blooms.
  • Do not eat the internal organs of fish caught in waters containing cyanobacteria. If you have cleaned fish taken from affected waters, thoroughly wash any of your skin that has come into contact with the fish.
  • Use rubber gloves if contact with affected waters must be made.
  • VDH Hotline 1-888-238-6154

https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/content/uploads/sites/178/2021/03/VDH-Cyanobacteria-Flyer4_16_21.pdf

 

Algae blooms increasing in the Shenandoah River watershed

Low flow, warm water, and nutrients are the ingredients for algae blooms. These pictures were taken today, Wednesday, July 28, at various sites as identified in the photos.

VDH POSTS ADVISORY FOR PRESENCE of CYANOBACTERIA TOXINS FOUND PORTION OF NF SHENANDOAH RIVER

ADVISORY posted by the Virginia Department of Health – Out of an abundance of caution, an advisory has been issued for the North Fork Shenandoah River due to the detection of cyanobacteria toxins within mat material at two sites; Bethel Road (near the intersection of Rt. 644) and at Strasburg, near S Holliday Street (Rt. 648). While the cyanobacteria mats at those two discreet locations are wide-spread, they were not observed throughout the entire ~5 mile stretch of this river segment. Weather and other environmental factors can cause rapid changes in water quality and cause mat material to shift in location. People and pets should avoid contact and accidental ingestion of cyanobacteria mats throughout the river. The drinking water plant at Strasburg is working with state and county officials to ensure the continued safety of drinking water and will continue to monitor for algal toxins at the plant intake.

https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/content/uploads/sites/178/2021/07/NF-Shenanodah-HAB-Status-Report-7.23.21_final.pdf

Images of Algae Blooms in the North Fork Shenandoah River

Pictures taken this morning of the algae blooms in the North Fork Shenandoah River off of Bethel Road upstream of Deer Rapids in Shenandoah County, VA.
The Lord Fairfax Health District of the Virginia Health Department is cautioning people not to swim in that area until the results of an algae test come in later this week. The algae blooms discovered at the Bethel Road area of Strasburg could be cyanobacteria, which “has the ability to put out a neurotoxin.”

FOSR’s 2021 Summer E. coli Results through 07.21.2021

Once again the E. coli levels of >2,419.6 measured at site FW36, Manassas Run upstream of the confluence with main-stem Shenandoah River, just upstream of the public boat landing, on Wednesday, July 21, 2021, exceeded the previous Virginia water-quality standard threshold of 235 E. coli colony forming units per 100 mL of water sample for primary recreational use.

FOSR 2021 Summer Quantitative E. coli Concentration Results through 07.21.2021

The water level in the North Fork and South Fork of the Shenandoah River dropped again this week.  Also seeing algae blooms at many of the sites we collect water samples from.

Keep Your Pets and Livestock Away from Potentially Harmful Algae Blooms

Potentially harmful algae bloom in the North Fork of the Shenandoah River

Potentially harmful algae bloom in the North Fork of the Shenandoah River near Bethel Road area of Strasburg in Shenandoah County. The Lord Fairfax Health District of the Virginia Health Department is cautioning people not to swim in that area until the results of an algae test come in later this week. The algae blooms discovered at the Bethel Road area of Strasburg could be cyanobacteria, which “has the ability to put out a neurotoxin.”

 

 
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