N E W S R E L E A S E
April 12, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Suzanne Dyba, Water Monitoring Coordinator
Watershed quality reports available
The results are in. Since 2007, the James City County Stormwater Division has worked with volunteers to conduct field surveys in area streams to determine their quality and to understand the effects of pollution on the watershed.
Reports are available online at jamescitycountyva.gov/streamquality for the following local watersheds:
- College Creek
- Diascund Creek
- Gordon Creek
- Mill Creek
- Powhatan Creek
- Skiffe’s Creek
- Ware Creek
- Yarmouth Creek
The reports describe the water quality conditions of eight of the eleven watersheds located in James City County. These watersheds are unique and face individual challenges, yet patterns of similarity can be seen. Many of our lower County areas have poor drainage and undersized stormwater infrastructures and hard clay soils. Upper County watersheds see better drainage yet also face erosion issues.
Each of the watersheds can be found on the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s polluted water list as of 2012 for various pollutants, ranging from overall low dissolved oxygen to mercury in fish tissue. Impairments of our waterways cause the Virginia Department of Health to put advisories into effect for recreational uses such as swimming, fishing or shellfish harvesting.
Staff worked with volunteers, or Bug Hunters, to analyze the populations of macro-invertebrates, the bottom-dwelling insects that are visible to the naked eye. Different insects can withstand different levels of water pollution making them good indicators of the water quality of the stream. Staff and volunteers also conducted bacteria monitoring using Coliscan Easygel. Both methods are used by volunteer groups throughout the State and are approved by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.
Monitoring will continue monthly for the bacteria monitoring program, and bi-annually for the benthic macroinvertebrate monitoring program.
For more information or to get involved, contact the Stormwater Division at 757-259-1446 or firstname.lastname@example.org.