Roanoke's Streams

Ore Branch
Murray Run
Garnand Branch
 Everyone wants to live and work in a clean, healthy environment. By fighting pollution, you can help protect Virginia's precious natural resources and improve the livability of the Roanoke Valley and downstream communities. Lets leave a Clean Water Legacy for our kids and grandchildren; do your part at home, in your neighborhood and at work!

The Roanoke River and 11 of the 13 tributaries are currently impaired. 

These 12 streams (1+11) are on the 303(d) list for exceeding safe level of bacteria (E.coli), sediment, temperature and PCBs. All surface waters that do not meet water quality standards are placed on a 303(d) impaired water list as mandated under the Clean Water Act. 

All impaired waters must have a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) or "pollution diet"  that establishes the limit of pollutants that a surface water body can receive daily and still meet water quality standards.The primary pollutant for most of the tributaries is bacteria (E. coli) that comes from pet waste, sewer failure, non-functioning septic systems, agriculture, and natural sources, like wildlife.

Completed TMDL Action Plans: 

 Bacteria and Sediment TMDL Action Plan
 PCB TMDL Action Plan

Our goal is to meet the TMDL pollution reduction diet and work toward delisting our impaired streams. The Stormwater Utility can't do it alone! Community engagement in this process is vital to successful delisting of our streams. Every person's actions count! 

Learn more 


 about stormwater pollution and how you can help!




Impaired  Streams                                     Impairment (DEQ 2014)
Roanoke River Mercury in fish tissue, water temperature, benthic-macroinvertebrate bioassessments (sediment), E.coli, PCB in fish tissue, and PCB in water column
Tinker Creek Water temperature, benthic-macroinvertebrate bioassessments (sediment), E.coli, PCB in fish tissue, and PCB in water column
Mudlick Creek Benthic-macroinvertebrate bioassessments (sediment), E.coli
Ore Branch E.coli
Peters Creek Water temperature, benthic-macroinvertebrate bioassessments (sediment), E.coli, PCB in fish tissue, and PCB in water column
Barnhardt Creek Benthic-macroinvertebrate bioassessments (sediment)
Murray Run Benthic-macroinvertebrate bioassessments (sediment), fecal colifrom
Carvin Creek E.coli
Glade Creek E.coli
Lick Run E.coli
Mason Creek  Benthic-macroinvertebrate bioassessments (sediment), E.coli
Back Creek E.coli

​The City of Roanoke is an MS4 Community

 MS4 stands for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System. That means Roanoke has two types of "sewer" systems, one for sanitary waste  and one for stormwater.
     A Sanitary Sewer System receives waste water from plumbed fixtures and is treated before it is released into local streams.

    A Storm Sewer System (Stormdrain System) is designed to quickly drain rainwater off streets as a flood-control measure. The water is not treated before being released into local streams.

MS4 Pic