Rappahannock Friends and Lovers of Our Watershed

Rush River and TMDL Monitoring

[See also TMDL plan for Hazel, Hughes & Rush River watersheds 6/10/08]

The Rush River is scheduled to begin TMDL work this Spring for the listed bacteria impairment. The impaired segment of the stream is identified as beginning at the confluence of an unnamed tributary to Rush River and continuing downstream to its confluence with Big Branch, approximately 0.98 rivermiles upstream of Route 621. This stream segment was first listed with a bacteria impairment in 2002.  According to the 2004 303(d) list of impaired waters, “Sufficient exceedances of the instantaneous fecal coliform bacteria criterion (4 of 17 samples - 23.5%) were recorded at DEQ's ambient water quality monitoring station 3-RUS005.66 at Route 211/522 to assess this stream segment as not supporting of the Recreation Use goal for the 2004 water quality assessment.” I have attached the 303(d) fact sheet for this segment for your records.

In support of the bacteria TMDL development for this stream segment, DEQ conducted Bacterial Source Tracking (BST) sampling at the Rt. 211/522 bridge location monthly between July 2004 and July 2005. I’m attaching relevant pages from the BST report for your information. Also, please note that DEQ has conducted biological monitoring in this area surveying the benthic macroinvertebrate community. We sampled this location twice in 2003 and once, thus far, in 2006. The stream segment is found to be slightly impaired for the benthic community. This does not mean that the stream is impaired and in need of TMDL development. Rather, DEQ will monitor this segment to see if water quality conditions improve or otherwise change over time. You are probably aware of this, but there is citizen monitoring on the Rush River. In the subject stream segment, citizen monitoring station 3RUS-6-SOS finds a medium probability of adverse conditions for biota. This is generally supportive of the DEQ biological monitoring results as well.

Additionally, all DEQ ambient water quality monitoring data can be viewed at the following link: http://www.deq.virginia.gov/watermonitoring/monitoring.html.  Search the monitoring stations by stream name and you can find what is available for the Rush River If I can be of further assistance, or if you have any more questions/comments, please drop me a note.

- Bryant

Bryant Thomas
Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
Northern Regional Office
13901 Crown Court
Woodbridge, Virginia 22193
Phone: (703) 583-3843, Fax (703) 583-3841
Email: bhthomas@deq.virginia.gov
Website: www.deq.virginia.gov