Water quality concerns topic of meeting

Published 8:43 am Saturday, January 14, 2012


COURTLAND—The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s concerns about water conditions affecting the Nottoway and Meherrin rivers will be the topic of a meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15, at the Southampton County Government Center in Courtland.

Water quality studies of at least five bodies of water done by the DEQ show they don’t meet bacteria water quality standards.

Local areas of concern are the Flat Swamp, the lower and upper reaches of Three Creek, Mill Swamp, Darden Mill Run and Tarrara Creek.

Jeff Turner, the riverkeeper for the Nottoway and Blackwater rivers, said Friday that any pollution in swamps makes its way to rivers.

Tarrara leads into the Meherrin, which is in Emporia. Mill Swamp, Darden Mill Run and Three Creek lead into the Nottoway. He was not certain of where the Flat Swamp leads.

Both rivers are part of the Chowan River Basin, Turner said.

Turner said the DEQ doesn’t really have the manpower to go out into the community.

“So they’ll be asking the public and organizations to help identify the causes of the impairment to the waters,” he said. “They’re looking for any impairment, such as E-coli or ph levels.”

He suggested that possible contributing factors could come from stabled horses, kenneled dogs, cow pastures or failing septic systems.