High bacteria levels in area stream

Charlottesville is warning the public to stay out of Pollocks Branch between Elliott Avenue and Rockland Avenue due to elevated levels of E. coli. Pollocks Branch is a waterway that travels south from downtown Charlottesville and is one of many locations monitored by the Rivanna Conservation Alliance.

“E. coli is a type of fecal coliform bacteria and when it is found in water, it is a strong indicator of sewage or animal waste contamination which can cause disease or illness,” reads an announcement from the city

City officials are investigating the situation and advise that no one touches the water. 

Pollocks Branch runs underground from the Downtown Mall and underneath the Ix Art Park before daylighting at Elliott Avenue where it flows into Moores Creek. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality certifies the Rivanna Conservation Alliance’s monitoring efforts as a Level III which means the data can be used for official scientific purposes. The RCA has been monitoring bacteria since July 2012. 


Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the March 31, 2022 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

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