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300,000 gallons of raw sewage leaks into James River near Richmond
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300,000 gallons of raw sewage leaks into James River near Richmond

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Yoga, paddle boards and the river: Summer on the James

People and pets should avoid swimming, wading and tubing in the James River in Richmond beginning today, says the Virginia Department of Health.

The water advisory applies to "all of Tuckahoe Creek beginning at River Road, including the Eastern and Western Branches of Tuckahoe Creek, and the James River from Robious Landing Park in Chesterfield, Goochland, and Henrico counties to Belle Isle in the City of Richmond." This includes popular swimming spots like Pony Pasture, Texas Beach and the Belle Isle rapids.

VDH issued the advisory Thursday morning following a Tuesday sewage release from a Goochland County Department of Public Utilities main sewer line into Tuckahoe Creek, which feeds into the James River.

Goochland County estimates that "300,000 gallons of raw, undiluted sewage" was released following a 40-inch rupture around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night that flowed until 11 p.m., according to a news release from the health department. The 300,000 gallons poured into a ditch near River Road.

There is no impact on drinking water at this time, VHD said. And an end date for the water advisory hasn't yet been determined, but it will be based on bacteria levels in the water, VDH said.

VDH said activities not likely to result in water submersion (boating, fishing, canoeing) may continue with proper caution.

This story will be updated.

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