Stream Impairments & Total Maximum Daily Loads

High Levels of Pollutants

Impaired streams are considered to be streams or rivers that do not meet state water quality standards because pollutant levels are too high. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) maintains a list of impaired waters that is updated periodically. Roanoke County has 13 streams that are impaired.

About Total Maximum Daily Loads

VDEQ establishes a total maximum daily load (TMDL) for streams to restore and maintain the water quality of the stream. A TMDL is the total amount of pollutant a stream can receive and still meet water quality standards. A TMDL has been completed for seven of the 13 impaired streams in Roanoke County.

Types of Impairments & How You Can Help

ImpairmentWaterwaysHow You Can Help
  • Back Creek
  • Glade Creek
  • Lick Run
  • Mason Creek
  • Mudlick Creek
  • Murray Run
  • Ore Branch
  • Peters Creek
  • Roanoke River
  • Tinker Creek
Collect and recycle leaf litter and animal waste from your yard before it reaches storm drains.
Dissolved oxygenRoanoke RiverApply fertilizers and pesticides sparingly, and try not to apply right before a heavy rain.
PCBs in fish tissueRoanoke RiverReport known historical releases of PCBs to the VDEQ.
SedimentMason Creek, Mudlick Creek, Roanoke RiverCover piles of dirt or mulch being used in landscaping projects, and use proper erosion controls for large projects involving disturbing the land.
TemperatureBottom CreekAvoid clearing and grading directly adjacent to waterways and plant vegetation along stream banks in your yard.