Meeting to be held Feb. 27 at MHS on local water quality

- Posted on Feb 13, 2013 - 01:28 PM

A public meeting on a draft water quality improvement plan will be held from 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 27, in the Mathews High School media center.

State officials will be present to hear comments from residents on the plans developed for tidal shellfish waters in Queens, Stutts, Morris, Billups, Edwards, Harper, Wilton, Healy, Cobbs, Lanes, Hudgins, Barn, French’s, Dancing and Ferry creeks and a portion of the lower Piankatank River.

The streams are on the list of impaired, or "dirty," waters because they violate the state’s water quality standard for bacteria, said a press release. Shellfish harvesting in these waters has been restricted because of high bacteria levels from failing septic systems, direct discharges of human and pet waste, and agricultural practices.

The draft plan, developed in consultation with local residents, contains corrective actions, including replacing failing septic systems; removing discharges of human waste to streams; reducing pollutants from agricultural, urban and residential areas, and starting a pet-waste disposal and education program. Measures for reducing agricultural bacteria include streamside livestock-exclusion fencing, pasture management, and streamside buffers on cropland.

Oral and written comments will be accepted through March 27. For more information contact May Sligh at 804-443-1494 or may.sligh@dcr.virginia.gov.