We can thank our upstream neighbors in Lynchburg for the headline. On Saturday due to power outages 2.6 million gallons of sewage were dumped into the river by Lynchburg’s sewage-treatment plant. The reason for the dumping was not malicious, it occurred due to power outages. The outages even knocked out the backup power source. But don’t worry health official don’t think you have much to worry about unless of course some gets in your mouth or open cut. Why is that not very comforting? From RTD.
“I don’t think there is a significant risk, but we want people to be aware that there certainly is a risk from swimming in any water body that is not treated,” said Rebecca LePrell, the department’s director of environmental epidemiology.
People generally should avoid swimming in streams for about three days after a sewage release like the one in Lynchburg or after a heavy rain, which can wash pollutants off land and into waters, LePrell said.
People who do get in the James or other rivers should try to avoid swallowing water and avoid swimming with open wounds, LePrell said.