Health officials urging public to avoid Intracoastal Waterway

Posted at 6:09 PM, Jun 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-06 23:17:53-04

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - The Chesapeake Health Department issued a health advisory to avoid swimming and catch and release from the Intracoastal Waterway.

This includes the area between Battlefield Boulevard and the Centerville Turnpike.

According to the health department's Facebook page, a recently ruptured sewer line, within the southbound lanes of Kempsville Road near Hunningdon Lakes Boulevard, led to the release of potentially harmful bacteria into the water.

“We encourage the public to protect their health by complying with this advisory,” said Dr. Nancy Welch, director of the Chesapeake Health District on the post. “Typically, an advisory of this nature is temporary.”

The contents also leaked into the stormwater retention ponds in the Greenbrier East Neighborhood, according to the post.

The Hampton Roads Sanitation District sent out a flyer last week pinpointing three ponds that are affected.

"We always go out there and fish and get in a little boat and take the kids out and have fun, but now you can't do any of that, so it's kind of gross," says Anthony Strickland, a resident of Greenbrier East neighborhood.

The health department is urging boaters and recreational watercraft to minimize exposure to the water by rinsing or washing items that come into contact with the water, including fishing gear, life vests, ropes, and paddles.
If you accidentally ingest the water, health officials recommend drinking plenty of fresh water.

For more information, contact the health department at 757-382-8672.