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Is the Shenandoah River Safe for Recreational Use?

27 April 2017 News

River recreation in proximity to one source of E. coli contaminants hazardous to human health. Photos/Environmental Integrity Project

At a Wednesday tele-conference, officials of a Shenandoah River watchdog group released a scathing appraisal of the condition of the river and consequent dangers to the public from its continued recreational use.

The report “Water Pollution from Livestock in the Shenandoah Valley” was released by the Environmental Integrity Project, a 15-year-old nonpartisan, nonprofit group based in Washington.

A Shenandoah algae bloom

The group utilized the State’s own records to assert that “more than 90 percent of the water quality monitoring stations in the Shenandoah River over the past 3 years detected fecal bacteria at levels unsafe for human contact.”

The report states the source of the problem lies with the Valley’s livestock industries AND an enforcement failure of environmental guidelines on that industry.

The report is a huge blow, not only to outdoor-loving Shenandoah Valley residents, but to their communities, many of which rely on the river as a primary tourist attraction.