Regional Water Quality

  • Increase
  • Normal
  • Decrease

Current Size: 80%

Many creeks, rivers, and streams in the Shenandoah River Watershed are "impaired", which means that they are unhealthy.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VA DEQ) assesses water quality using water quality standards to designate uses for creeks, rivers, streams and tidal waters in Virginia. There are six designated uses for these waterways, and they are: aquatic life, fish consumption, public water supplies, recreation (swimming), shell fishing, and wildlife.  

Chesapeake Bay Watershed

The Shenandoah River eventually flows into the Potomac River and later the Chesapeake Bay. Therefore, all sub-watersheds in Shenandoah River impact the Chesapeake Bay.

  • The Chesapeake Bay is on the impaired waters list due to too much nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment. The US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) established the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), which is a comprehensive "pollution diet" with rigorous accountability measures to restore clean water in the Chesapeake Bay and the region's streams, creeks, and rivers. 
  • Information from VA DEQ on the Chesapeake Bay TMDL
  • Information from the US EPA on the Chesapeake Bay TMDL

 

Local Watershed Information

City of Harrisonburg

The City of Harrisonburg is 17.6 square miles (approx. 11,500 acres), and highly urbanized with substantial impervious surfaces (What's an Imprevious Surface?). Harrisonburg drains into six different subwatersheds. (What is a Watershed?) Ultimately, all of these watersheds drain into the Shenandoah River and the Chesapeake Bay (see above). The table below outlines the impairments of each subwatershed.

PDF[1.51MB] Harrisonburg Stormwater Drainage Map

Subwatershed Name Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC) Approximately Length (miles) within Harrisonburg Approximate Drainage Area (Acres) within Harrisonburg Impairments
Blacks Run (flows into Cooks Creek) PS22 8.67 9067 E. coli, Fecal Coliform, General Benthics
Sunset Heights Branch of Cooks Creek PS23 2.09 2.09 E. coli
Dry Fork (flows into Smith Creek) PS59 0.206 493 E. coli, Sediment
North River-Mill Creek PS26 No Stream 87.44 No outfalls
Cub Run (flows into South Fork of the Shenandoah River) PS33 No Stream 14.75 No outfalls
Linville Creek (flows into North Fork of the Shenandoah River) PS56 0.08 117.8 E. coli, Sediment

 

James Madison University

For more information, visit the Stormwater Management at JMU website.

Subwatershed Name Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC) Approximate Length (miles) within JMU Approximate Drainage Areas (acres) within JMU Impairments
Blacks Run PS22 N/A 117 E. coli, Fecal Coliform, General Benthics
Sieberts Creek/Newman Lake PS22 N/A 539 None

Rockingham County 

For more information visit the Rockingham County Stormwater website.

Rockingham County Stream/Watershed Information Table Excel file[125KB]

Town of Bridgewater

Fore more information, visit the Town of Brigewater's Environmental Protection website.

Subwatershed Name Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC) Approximate Length (miles) within Bridgewater
Approximate Drainage Areas (acres) within Bridgewater Impairments TMDL (#)
Dry River PS20 .26 142 E.Coli, Fecal Coliform 1492
Cooks Creek PS23 .27 244 E.Coli, Fecal Coliform 9473
Cooks Creek PS23 .27 244 Benthic Macroinvertebrate Bioassessments 9509 & 9510
North River PS25 3.00 1231 E.Coli, Fecal Coliform 23366

 

City of Waynesboro

For more information, visit the City of Waynesboro Stormwater Administration website.

Subwatershed Name Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC) Approximate Length (miles) in Waynesboro Approximate Drainage Area (acres) in Waynesboro Impairments        
South River PS30 7.7 7,248 E.Coli, Sediment

 

Augusta County

Subwatershed Name Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC) Approximate Length (miles) of stream within Augusta County Approximate Drainage Area within Augusta County Impairments
Middle River - Edison Creek PS01 0.00 57.71 E.Coli, Fecal Coliform
Middle River - Bell Creek PS04 0.00 290.01 E.Coli, Fecal Coliform, General Benthics
Lewis Creek PS06 1.32 260.54 E.Coli, General Benthics, PCB's
Middle River - Falling Spring Run PS07 1.93 1675.57 E.Coli, Fecal Coliform, General Benthics
Christian's Creek - Folly Mills Creek PS08 0.00 119.89 E.Coli, Fecal Coliform
Christian's Creek - Barterbrook Branch PS09 3.30 2420.07 E.Coli, Fecal Coliform, General Benthics
Meadow Run PS10 2.50 1938.91 pH
South River - Canada Run PS28 0.64 173.66 E.Coli, Fecal Coliform
South River - Porterfield Run PS30 3.57 1088.31 E.Coli, Fecal Coliform, General Benthics

 

City of Staunton

For more information, visit the City of Staunton Stormwater Management website.

Subwatershed Name Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC) Approximate Length (miles) within Staunton Approximate Drainage Area (acres) within Staunton Impairments
Middle River - Bell Creek PS-04 0.00 443 None
Lewis Creek PS-06 5.67 15633 E. coli, Benthic-Macroinvertebrate Bioassessments / 4A, PCB in Fish Tissue / 5A
Middle River - Falling Spring Run PS-07 0.00 546 None
Christian's Creek - Barterbrook Branch PS-09 0.00 1489 None

Storm Water