VDH extends recreational water, fish consumption advisories to Meherrin, Roanoke Rivers

The public is advised to avoid contact with the water


The Virginia Department of Health is extending its recreational water advisory and fish consumption advisory to include the Meherrin and Roanoke Rivers.

For the safety of people and pets, VDH is advising that recreational water activities, such as swimming, wading, tubing, canoeing, kayaking, and boating should be avoided. Additionally, VDH recommends not consuming any fish taken from these waterways effective Saturday, July 6 until further notice.

Similar to the advisories issued for Dockery and Mountain Creeks, the warnings are issued out of an abundance of caution due to a release of chemicals from an industrial fire in South Hill on Saturday.


The Virginia Department of Health is issuing advisories for Dockery and Mountain Creeks.

The warnings come after a chemical release from an industrial fire at Nutrien Ag Solutions warehouse in South Hill on July 6. VDH said chemicals at the facility include fuel, fertilizers, herbicides and others.

They extend from Route 1 in South Hill to approximately ten miles north and south of the two impacted watersheds — the Roanoke River and the Meherrin River.

VDH recommends avoiding water activities, such as swimming, tubing, and boating. They also advise against eating any fish from these waterways until further notice.

To prevent recreational water illnesses due to exposure of chemical release events, VDH recommends the following:

  1. Avoid contact with the waterbodies noted above and observe advisory signage posted at waterbody access points.
  2. Avoid any area of the waterbody where there is water with a foul or chemical odor, dead or dying fish, or discolored water.
  3. Promptly wash skin with soap and water if you cannot avoid contact with water in the vicinity.
  4. Rinse or wash items that come into contact with the water, including clothing, fishing gear, life vests, ropes and paddles.
  5. Seek medical care and notify your practitioner of the waterbody exposure if you experience adverse health effects after contact with the waterbody.

For more information on recreational water safety, click here.

For updates on the advisories, click here.

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