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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.”

 

FOSR’s 2021 Summer E. coli Results through 07.14.2021

On Wednesday, July 14, 2021, at site FW36, Manassas Run upstream of the confluence with main-stem Shenandoah River, just upstream of the public boat landing, the E. coli level was 435.2 MPN of E. coli colony-forming units per 100 mL.  This level 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.

The amount of flow in the North Fork, South Fork, and Main-stem of the Shenandoah River has been steadily decreasing. The recent localized rain events have not been enough to recharge the water supply.

FOSR 2021 Summer Quantitative E. coli Concentration Results through 07.14.2021

 

FOSR’s 2021 Summer E. coli Results through 07.07.2021

At one of the sites that we collected water samples at yesterday, Wednesday July 07, 2021  the E. coli  level 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.

FW36 – Manassas Run upstream of the confluence with main-stem Shenandoah River, just upstream  of the public boat landing, 1,413.6 MPN of E. coli colony-forming units per 100 mL

 

FOSR 2021 Summer Quantitative E. coli Concentration Results through 07.07.2021

FOSR’s 2021 Summer E. coli Results through 07.02.2021

To provide you with the most current E. coli levels in preparation of your holiday plans, I collected water samples at 7 sites yesterday, Friday, July 2.  The E. coli levels at FW36 Manassas Run and FW35MID Shenandoah River both at Morgan’s Ford low water bridge in Warren County VA, increased from when the water samples were collected on Thursday, July 1.  On both days the E. coli levels at these two sites 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.

07.02.2021 FW36 – Manassas Run upstream of the confluence with main-stem Shenandoah River, just upstream of the public boat landing, >2,419.6 MPN of E. coli colony-forming units per 100 mL.

07.01.2021 FW36 – Manassas Run upstream of the confluence with main-stem Shenandoah River, just upstream of the public boat landing, 275.5 MPN of E. coli colony-forming units per 100 mL

07.02.2021 FW35MID –Main-stem Shenandoah River at Morgan’s Ford low H2O bridge at mid width of the River, 920.8 MPN E. coli colony-forming units per 100 mL

07.01.2021 FW35MID –Main-stem Shenandoah River at Morgan’s Ford low H2O bridge at mid width of the River, 290.9 MPN E. coli colony-forming units per 100 mL

FOSR 2021 Summer Quantitative E. coli Concentration Results through 07.02.2021

FOSR’s 2021 Summer E. coli Results through 07.01.2021

At three of the sites that we collected water samples at yesterday, Thursday July 01,  the E. coli levels 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.

FW36 – Manassas Run upstream of the confluence with main-stem Shenandoah River, just upstream of the public boat landing, 275.5 MPN of E. coli colony-forming units per 100 mL

FW35MID –Main-stem Shenandoah River at Morgan’s Ford low H2O bridge at mid width of the River, 290.9 MPN E. coli colony-forming units per 100 mL

FSMB – North Fork of the Shenandoah River at Meems Bottom, 290.9 MPN E. coli colony-forming units per 100 mL

FOSR 2021 Summer Quantitative E. coli Concentration Results through 07.01.2021

Shadows in the Water

A Visit to Passage Creek at USFS Elizabeth Furnace Day Use Area

The map includes the site locations and data for the water samples that I collected yesterday, June 24, 2021, from the stretch of Passage Creek that flows through the USFS Elizabeth Furnace Day Use Area. The E. coli levels did not exceed 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’s 2021 Summer E. coli Results through 06.23.2021

These are the E. coli results for the water samples that were collected yesterday, Wednesday, June 23, 2021.  At all of the sites that Monica and I collected water samples from yesterday, the E. coli levels did not exceed 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 06.23.2021

E. coli levels on the Rise

E. coli levels crept up at all of the sites that we collected water samples from yesterday.  At three of the sites, the E. coli levels 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.

FW36 – Manassas Run upstream of the confluence with main-stem Shenandoah River, just upstream of the public boat landing, 272.2 MPN of E. coli colony-forming units per 100 mL

FW35 –Main-stem Shenandoah River at Morgan’s Ford low H2O bridge public boat landing below the confluence with Manassas Run, 275.5 MPN E. coli colony-forming units per 100 mL

FSMB – North Fork of the Shenandoah River at Meems Bottom, 435.2 MPN E. coli colony-forming units per 100 mL

FOSR 2021 Summer Quantitative E. coli Concentration Results through 06.10.2021

 

FOSR’s 2021 Summer E. coli Results through 06.03.2021

These are the E. coli results for the water samples collected yesterday, Thursday, June 03, 2021.

FOSR 2021 Summer Quantitative E. coli Concentration Results through 06.03.2021

The thing that was most noticeable yesterday when we were out collecting the water samples at the various sites was the low water levels for this time of year.

Previously in Virginia, if a single freshwater grab sample contained E. coli bacteria levels that exceeded 235 CFUs then the water would have been considered unsafe for primary recreational contact. Under the current Virginia Code, effective as of October 2019, for both the State Water Control Board and VA Dept. of Health, there is no longer any agency responsible to inform the public of potential exposure to elevated E. coli levels in the freshwater streams and rivers in Virginia!

The Friends of the Shenandoah River have been providing this accredited E. coli data to you so that you can make an informed decision of the potential related health risks before engaging in primary recreational use activities in the river.

Only with YOUR SUPPORT can the Friends of the Shenandoah River continue to provide this vital service. Please support us by making a donation today. https://fosr.org/join-us/join/

 
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