Creek that feeds Appomattox River in ‘much better shape’ 24 hours after paint spill

PETERSBURG, Va. -- Environmental crews said a Petersburg creek that merges into the Appomattox River is in "much better shape" 24 hours after a crashed semi truck spilled its load, turning the waterway a milky white.

Petersburg residents were concerned Wednesday afternoon when the gently flowing Lieutenant's Run Creek, which is about two miles from the accident scene, flowed solid white.

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) crews inspected the creek and took water samples again Thursday.

"Temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen and other specific conductants, which gives a measure of the dissolvement material in the stream,” DEQ’s Matt Carter explained. “It's a pretty good basic overview of what's going on."

As the crew made their way from the creek to the river on foot, they spotted a group of minnows along the way.

"It's a very good sign, it's definitely an indicator of stream health at this point," DEQ Pollution Response Coordinator Jeremy Kazio said. "It is in much better shape than it was yesterday.”

Additionally, officials did not find any “distressed fish” that they had spotted Wednesday.

The crew than made their way down river on a boat and continued to take samples.

"I believe the water bodies that were impacted yesterday are clearing up,” Kazio noted.

The City of Hopewell gets their drinking water from the Appomattox River downstream from the creek.

Virginia American Water officials said workers took hourly samples throughout the night to watch for any problems.

Accordingly, officials said they do not believe there is any threat to public health at this time.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.