A public meeting will be held on Wednesday at Mathews High School on a plan to to reduce bacteria levels and clean up 16 creeks that feed into the Piankatank River, Upper Piankatank River and Milford Haven.
The streams are on a list of impaired waters due to excessive levels of bacteria from failing septic systems, direct discharges of human waste and agricultural practices in the area, according to a state Department of Environmental Quality press release.
The creeks include: Queens; Stutts; Morris; Billups; Edwards; Harper; Wilton; Healy; Cobbs; Lanes; Hudgins; Barn; Frenchs; Ferry; Dancing.
Representatives from DEQ, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Virginia Department of Health and the Tidewater Soil and Water Conservation District will present a draft plan to reduce bacteria levels and improve water quality in the tidal creeks.
Corrective actions to reduce bacteria may include replacing failing septic systems, removing direct discharges of human waste to streams, reducing pollutant loads from agricultural, urban and residential areas and a pet-waste disposal and education program, according to the DEQ.
Corrective actions for agricultural bacteria sources may include livestock-exclusion fencing along streams, pasture management and establishing buffers along streams along cropland. Measurable goals and timelines for expected water quality improvements are included in the draft plan.
Oral and written comments on the draft plan are sought from local residents and stakeholders and will be accepted through March 27.