Water Quality

Changing Definition of "Lead-Free"
5:37 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

Lead Found in Well Water Tests

Credit Virginia Household Water Quality Program

There’s no argument about the fact that any amount of lead in drinking water is unsafe. 

No matter how much, it’s too much, of this potent neurotoxin. 

But lead has been showing up in well water tests around Virginia. About a fifth of the state’s residents get their water from wells.

Lead does not occur naturally in Virginia’s groundwater, instead, it’s a problem of civilization, namely, indoor plumbing. 

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Citizen's Brigade with a Decade of Data
4:32 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

StreamWatch

Credit StreamWatch

Analyzing water is a complicated business.  It can contain any number of pollutants and require a variety of regulations to clean it up, but the state of Virginia is using a simpler approach – letting nature determine water quality, and asking citizens to help.

On a sunny weekday afternoon, four people arrive at a one-lane bridge northeast of Charlottesville, unpacking a car loaded with mysterious gear – nets, gloves and waders, a table and chairs.  They could easily be mistaken for picnickers.  In fact, they’re on a more serious mission.

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After the Elk River Spill
5:00 am
Wed March 26, 2014

West Virginia Water Doesn't Pass the Smell Test

Barlow St. is seen here on the banks of the Elk River in Charleston, West Virginia.
Credit Tom Hindman/Getty Images via NPR

Scientists at Virginia Tech say a chemical that contaminated the Elk River in West Virginia early this year, is more complex than previously known.  A new study may explain why a telltale smell persists, after officials declared the water safe to drink, more than two months ago.

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Environment
11:47 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Coal Ash Spill Affects Virginia and North Carolina

Credit Lynchburg News and Advance

We’ve told you about a coal ash spill in Eden, North Carolina that’s worked its way into the Dan River in Danville.  Officials with Duke Energy, the company in charge of the spill, along with state and local officials, have conducted tests on the drinking water there.

Duke Energy officials will be giving an update to Danville City Council members Friday at 1pm.

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Taking Stock after 40 Years
10:55 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Endangered Species Act

Credit Virginia Tech

The federal law protecting endangered species turned forty in 2013.  And that calls for taking stock of how it’s been working.  

Fresh Water mussels are at the foundation of aquatic life in inland waterways.  At different times in their life cycle, the burrow into river bottoms, keeping soil substrates aerated, and they act as powerful filtering systems that help keep the water clean. But they’re on the endangered species list, and anything that threatens them, also threatens our fresh surface water.

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