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Rivanna River
Renaissance Conference

September 28, 2018
10:00 a.m.
Albemarle County Office Building
401 McIntire Rd.

Moores Creek Bacteria TMDL Implementation Project

RRBC and local partners have received a grant of $267,000 from the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) to be used over the next two and half years to address the bacterial contamination of Moores Creek that drains portions of Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville. Project partners receiving funding assistance are the Thomas Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District (TJSWCD), Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission (TJPDC), and StreamWatch.

Bacteria pollution in Moores Creek, a tributary of the Rivanna, is caused by animal and human waste entering the stream system. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) tests streams for excess E. coli, which is found in the intestines of all warm-blooded animals including dogs, cats, cattle, humans, and some wildlife. DEQ water quality sampling in Moores Creek shows that the 6.5 mile stream segment, from the intersection of Route 29 and Teel Lane (County Road 1106) to the confluence of Moores Creek with the Rivanna River, is polluted by E. coli. As a result this stream segment is listed as "impaired" and does not meet Virginia's water quality standards for safe swimming and other forms of recreation that involve direct or secondary contact with the water (such as canoeing or kayaking). A 2005 study outlined many corrective measures, including sanitary sewer trunk repair and replacement and prevention of illicit discharges. To date, over 40% of these corrective measures have been completed or are planned soon. This project brings resources to the community to further help with pollution reduction from homeowners and citizens.

The Moores Creek watershed covers 35 square miles of Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville. The creek forms much of the southern boundary of the city, draining the southern part of the city and parts of Albemarle County to the south and west of the Charlottesville. Maps of the Moores Creek watershed can be found here:

Moores Creek Land Use Map

Moores Creek Subwatersheds

Schools and Public Lands in Moores Creek Watershed

Other stream segments in the Rivanna watershed also do not meet Virginia's water quality standards for recreational uses, totally approximately 65 miles (including the North Fork Rivanna River, Preddy Creek and tributaries, Meadow Creek, Mechums River, and Beaver Creek). These segments are listed on Virginia's 303(d) List of Impaired Waters (2010) due to violations of the state's water quality standard for fecal coliform bacteria and/or E. coli. This standard is used to alert the public that these water bodies are not safe for primary contact recreation (e.g., swimming and boating).

Bacteria Monitoring

As part of the Moores Creek Bacterial TMDL Implementation project, StreamWatch will be conducting Coliscan Easygel testing at 6 sites on tributaries and upper reaches of Moores (DEQ already monitors two sites in the lower reaches of Moores because the stream is listed as impaired). Preliminary locations will be on Lodge Creek, Morey Creek, Moores Tributary near the Ragged Mountain Reservoir, Biscuit Run, Upper trib to Biscuit Run, and Moores Creek along Hwy 29. StreamWatch will monitor these sites once a month for 12 months, then do an initial assessment and consult with DEQ and the TMDL project partners. At that time, StreamWatch may relocate certain sites if there is a need for other data. Bacteria monitoring results are available here.

On March 21, 2013, Rivanna Conservation Society, RRBC, and StreamWatch presented during the Rivanna Conservation Society's Third Thursday Brown Bag session. Download the "Bacteria in Our Streams: Should You Care?" presentation here.

Project Links and Contacts

For information about agricultural cost share and septic maintenance and upgrades, please contact Alyson Sappington, District Director, Thomas Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District (Alyson.Sappington[at]tjswcd.org and (434) 975-0224). The cost share flyer is available here.

For information about pet waste pollution prevention, please contact Martin Johnson, Urban Conservation Specialist, Thomas Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District (martin.johnson[at]tjswcd.org and (434) 975-0224). Pet waste composter cost share information is available here.

For information about bacteria monitoring, please contact Rose Brown, Director, StreamWatch (rose[at]streamwatch.org and (434) 962-3527). Bacteria monitoring information and results are available here.

For further information about the Rivanna River Stormwater Education Partnership (RRSEP), please see: www.rivanna-stormwater.org

Quarterly Meetings

As part of this project, RRBC coordinates quarterly meetings with the grant sub-awardees (TJSWCD, StreamWatch, and TJPDC) and project partners (Albemarle County, Albemarle County Service Authority, City of Charlottesville, James River Association, Piedmont Environmental Council, Rivanna Conservation Society, Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority, University of Virginia), as well as DCR, DEQ, and VDH.The modeling contractor for this project isVirginia Tech - Biological Systems Engineering. Quarterly meeting notes may be downloaded using the links below.

March 27, 2012
June 26, 2012
September 25, 2012
December 18, 2012

March 26, 2013

Draft 2012 Moores Creek Implementation Plan Update

RRBC and its partners worked together to update the Moores Creek TMDL Implementation Plan (IP). The IP update includes and defines a baseline of current conditions (land use; number and type of BMPs implemented since 2002; septic/sewer conversions since 2002). This update also models TMDL goal achievement based on the E. coli standard (as opposed to the fecal coliform standard used in 2002).

The 2012 Draft Moores Creek Implementation Plan Update was available for public comment through September 2, 2012. The draft 2012 IP update available for download here:

Draft Moores Creek IP Update (Report and Attachments) 8.8MB

Draft Moores Creek IP Update (Report only) 1.5MB

Attachment A. Decision Rationale for Moore's Creek Fecal Coliform TMDL 66KB
Attachment B. Total Maximum Daily Load modifications for wasteload allocations in the bacteria TMDL for Moore's Creek drainage basin in Albemarle County 2.9MB
Attachment C. Moore's Creek Fecal Coliform TMDL Implementation Plan Executive Summary 918KB
Attachment D. Feedback from the EPA review of the IP 66KB
Attachment E. Moores Creek outreach materials 3.8MB



The Rivanna River Basin Commission provides guidance for the stewardship of water and natural resources of the Rivanna River Basin and promotes activities by local, state, and federal governments, and by individuals, that foster resource stewardship for the environmental and economic health of the Basin.

Localities Greene Map Albemarle Map Charlottesville Map Fluvanna Map

The Commission has representatives from these jurisdictions and organizations.

Click below for more information about our member partners:

City of Charlottesville

Albemarle County

Fluvanna County

Greene County

Culpeper SWCD

Thomas Jefferson SWCD