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James River safe for swimming again after sewage leak

Advisory remains in place for parts of Tuckahoe Creek
James River
Posted at 2:54 PM, Aug 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-04 16:47:30-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) said it's safe to swim in the James River again after they issued an advisory last week due to a massive sewage leak in Goochland County.

The water in the 12-mile stretch of the James that was affected by the leak was tested by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality on Monday.

They determined the bacteria levels are back to "acceptable levels" for recreational water activities.

Bacteria in Tuckahoe Creek, the main waterway impacted by the sewage leak, is still at unsafe levels, VDH said.

The advisory they issued for Tuckahoe Creek will remain through the end of the week, which is when they believe bacteria levels may be back to normal.

300,000 gallons of raw sewage was leaked into the creek from a ditch near River Road on July 27 thanks to a 40-inch pipe that ruptured at the Goochland County Department of Public Utilities.

Tuckahoe Creek runs into the James River, prompting VDH to issue an advisory against recreational water activities from the site of the leak to Belle Isle two days later.

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Map of waterways affected by sewage leak