No toxins found in the City's drinking water

Fri, 08/13/2021 - 15:15

Update to 8/6/21 News Release: Drinking water protection during the harmful algal bloom

Drinking water monitoring will continue for the duration of the algae bloom

The City of Winchester is actively monitoring its drinking water in response to the Harmful Algae Bloom (HAB) on the North Fork Shenandoah River where the City obtains its water supply. Today, the City received test results from an outside laboratory that showed there are no cyanotoxins in the City’s drinking water at this time and the water remains completely safe to drink and use for all purposes.

HABs are caused by cyanobacteria, which can produce a variety of toxins known as cyanotoxins. Cyanotoxins can affect human health if consumed in excessive quantities over an extended period of time.

HAB impacts were first observed 1.5 miles upstream of the City’s raw water intake on July 27. Since then, the City optimized its treatment process for the removal of cyanotoxins. Enhanced water monitoring and optimized treatment activities will continue for the duration of the algae bloom, which could continue through October or longer.

The City of Winchester is working closely with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and has implemented recommendations and strategies to optimize water treatment, monitor water quality, and prevent health impacts from the algal bloom. 

The City of Winchester will continue to monitor the drinking water for cyanotoxins for as long as the HAB persists.

Customers with questions should contact Don Riggleman at the City of Winchester at (540) 667-1815, extension 1422.