Health officials warn against swimming in James River

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia health officials are warning people and pets to avoid swimming or wading in the James River after hundreds of thousands of gallons of sewage spilled from a Goochland County sewer line into a tributary of the river.

News outlets report that the Virginia Department of Health issued an advisory Thursday after the sewage release on Tuesday night.

The pipe was shut off less than four hours later, but not before 300,000 gallons of “raw, undiluted sewage” spilled.

Officials warn that swallowing contaminated water from the river could cause gastrointestinal illnesses and that external contact could cause “infections of the ears, nose, throat and skin.”

Officials say there’s no impact on drinking water at this time.

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