Shenandoah River Watershed is Facing Challenges

Below is the link to the E. coli results for the water samples collected yesterday, 06.26.2024, as part of Friends of the

06.26.2024 FC01 Shenandoah River at Berry’s Ferry PBR Rt. 50 bridge, Clarke County VA

Shenandoah River’s Summer E. coli Testing Program.  The Friends of the Shenandoah River provide, as a guideline, the US Environmental Protection Agency recommended precautionary “do not exceed” freshwater Beach Action Value (BAV) of 235 CFU of E. coli bacteria per 100mL of water sample for early alert to for those planning on recreating in natural freshwaters, including families with children.  There are two sites that have repeatedly exceeded the “early alert threshold” these are:

  • FW36 – Manassas Run upstream of the confluence with main-stem Shenandoah River, just upstream of the Morgan Ford public boat landing in Warren County VA.  On 06.26.2024 the E. coli level measured at this site was 435.2 MPN of E. coli colony-forming units per 100mL of water sample
  • FPHCTL – Hawksbill Creek off Virginia Ave. (Rt. 340) @ Pocket Park in the Town of Luray, Page County VA. On 06.26.2024 the E. coli level measured at this site was 980.4 MPN of E. coli colony-forming units per 100mL of water sample

On June 24, 2024, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), in coordination with the Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force, issued a drought warning advisory to include 12 counties, seven of which are in the Shenandoah River watershed.  “Precipitation deficits in combination with increased temperatures have resulted in rapid intensification of drought throughout the majority of the Commonwealth with substantial below-normal observations noted within the Northern Virginia and Shenandoah drought evaluation regions.  A drought warning advisory indicates a significant drought is imminent and is in effect for the Shenandoah region, which includes Augusta,  Rockingham, Shenandoah, Frederick, Page, Warren, and Clarke counties.”

On June 26, 2024, when visiting FOSR’s Summer E. coli Testing Site FPM13 Moody public boat launch at Mile 13 on the South Fork of the Shenandoah River in Page County, VA., we observed possible algal blooms and filamentous algae. We submitted a report to VA Dept. of Health and VA Dept. of Environmental Quality. Please visit the link below for information and precautions related to HABs.


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