Public warned to avoid Pound River

POUND, Va. — Health officials in Virginia are warning the public not to swim, wade or kayak in the Pound River, and to keep their pets away from the waterway, due to an ongoing raw sewage leak.

The source of the problem is the Town of Pound’s wastewater treatment plant. Officials say a storm overwhelmed the system on March 29. That caused the release of raw sewage, which has continued since that time.

The area of concern includes all parts of the river in Wise and Dickenson counties.

“Swallowing contaminated water can cause gastrointestinal illnesses, with vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain or fever,” an advisory from the Virginia Department of Health reads. “Contact with contaminated water also can cause infections of the ears, nose, throat and skin.”

For more information on recreational water safety, call (276) 889-7621 or (276) 328-8000 or see “Safely Enjoy Virginia’s Natural Waters” at