Impaired Creeks and Rivers in Richmond city

June 27, 2011

View Impaired Creeks and Rivers in Richmond City in a larger map

Above in the Google Map is a map of impaired streams and rivers in Richmond City, taken from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. Here’s a quick guide for the map:

This signifies either an aquatic life issue or a fish consumption issue in the case at Boulevard Bridge.

This signifies an unsafe area for recreational use.


As well, here are the issues that affect the streams and rivers in the area:

E. Coli: when a river has a higher-than-normal rate of E. Coli bacteria in the water, it means that a person is it a much higher risk from contracting E. Coli bacteria in the water. People contract E. Coli through streams and rivers by drinking the untreated water.

pH: when a river or stream has a non-neutral pH level (meaning a pH level between 6 and 8), it can lead to a variety of problems depending on the acidity of the water. Water with a non-neutral pH level doesn’t affect humans, but affects fish and aquatic plant life.

Dissolved Oxygen: dissolved oxygen affects fish by changing the amount of oxygen in the water. Too much oxygen leads to “gas bubble disease”, killing fish. (Source:

Benthic-Macroinvertebrate Bioassessments: Benthic-Macroinvertebrate are creatures such as mollusks and clams that scientists use to monitor the health of freshwater. Pollution that kills these creatures makes it more difficult to determine water quality.

Chlorphyll-a: like the Macroinvertebrate, scientists use chlorphyll-a to measure the health of rivers. Chlorphyll-a helps identify how much algae is growing in rivers and streams, and whether too much is growing. Too much algae wrecks the health of rivers by depleting oxygen, destroying habitats and making it dangerous for human recreation.

Mercury in fish tissue, DDT and Chlordane: Mercury, DDT and Chlordane all affect human health seriously. All three have led to serious damage to the human body if humans eat too much fish with high quantities of those chemicals. The safest way to avoid eating these chemicals is to not eat any fish caught from the affected waters.