On July 2, the Greenbrier County Health Department issued an advisory for the Greenbrier River downstream from the Ronceverte Sewer Plant discouraging recreational water use due to reports of sewage discharge into the river. As a result, a sanitarian collected water samples from a location in Alderson and a location between Fort Spring and Alderson which revealed bacteriological contamination significantly higher than normal. Additional water samples have been taken from a location in Ronceverte and a location in Second Creek which are expected to reveal the same bacteriological contamination results. The bathing beaches that are under permit with the health department in this area are closed and the advisory to the general public remains in effect.
Additionally, water samples from wells in areas that received flood waters or are in close proximity to the affected part of the Greenbrier River have also revealed bacterial contamination. Summers County Health Department is reporting the same results. Area residents are encouraged to disinfect their wells and private water supplies using unscented regular strength household bleach. Disinfection instructions are available at http://www.wvdhhr.org/phs/forms/sg-80_disinfecting_water_supply.pdf.
Bleach is available at the Greenbrier County Health Department. Gallons of bleach are available free to anyone needing to disinfect their well or private water supply as a result of the flood or river contamination.
Gallons of bleach are currently available at the Greenbrier County Health Department free of charge to anyone needing to disinfect their well or private water supply as a result of the flood or river contamination. Until the Greenbrier River Advisory is lifted, wells and other private water sources in close proximity to the affected part of the Greenbrier River may continue to become contaminated, even after disinfection.
Bacteriological contamination of water may cause illness in some individuals, particularly children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems. Those individuals with a history of recreational water use in the affected part of the Greenbrier River and individuals with private water supplies that were impacted by flood waters or that are in close proximity to the affected part of the Greenbrier River who have developed a gastrointestinal illness subsequent to June 23 are advised to consult their physician. Physicians who suspect waterborne illnesses should conduct appropriate lab testing and report communicable illnesses that are outlined in the state reportable disease rule to the patient’s home county health department.