On Sunday, 3/17/2019, the Colonial Beach Wastewater Treatment Facility experienced an electronic failure of the ultraviolet final treatment system. The manufacturer’s service representative was brought in to troubleshoot and repair the issue. System electronic malfunctions were identified, repaired and operations were restored by 10:30 AM on Monday, 3/18/2018.
As per protocol, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality was notified at 2:08 PM that an “untreated” flow of up to 514,874 gallons may have reached state waters. (The flow was actually partially treated but lacked the final stage of treatment)
The report was transferred from DEQ to the Virginia Department of Health, who subsequently issued notice of a spill of raw sewerage. Although the sewerage was partially treated, all citizens should follow the VDH requirements as set forth in the Notice below.
“Virginia Department of Health – The Virginia Department of Health announced today that portions of Monroe Bay and Mattox Creek in Westmoreland County are temporarily closed to shellfish harvesting due to a spill of raw sewage impacting water quality in the areas.
Due to potential microbiological pollution hazards, shellfish taken from areas affected by the emergency closure are currently unacceptable for consumption.
The temporary emergency closure is effective March 18, 2019, and is scheduled to reopen effective April 8, 2019. The Division of Shellfish Safety will monitor the shellfish and water quality during this period to determine if the area can be reopened sooner.
Maps of the affected areas are posted on the Division of Shellfish Safety’s home page at www.vdh.virginia.gov/Shellfish/. The affected shellfish are bivalve mollusks including oysters and clams, but not crabs or fin fish.”