Goose droppings: Okay to drink the water, officials say

If you live near Crozet, you might want to know that goose-droppings are going into your drinking water. That's the bad news. The good news is that authorities say they're dealing with it.

Beaver Creek Reservoir, the primary water supply for Crozet, is arguably the area's most beautiful body of water with 104 acres set against a Blue Ridge Mountain backdrop to make it popular with anglers, rowers, and picnickers. And another group has discovered its charms: a flock of some six dozen or more Canada geese, who, on a recent February morning, were feeding on grassroots while keeping wary eyes on passersby.

The once-migratory birds have been targeted by the Federal Aviation Administration as a menace since some got sucked into both engines of US Air's Miracle on the Hudson River flight with 155 passengers aboard. Closer to home and more recently, around 90 of the Canada geese residing in the Forest Lakes neighborhood were exterminated because of that neighborhood's proximity to Charlottesville Albemarle Airport.

The more typical complaint about the hefty water fowl isn't so much that they're a threat to life, but a threat to quality of life with the prolific amount of feces a flock can produce. The golf course at Pen Park, for instance, has long been plagued by green slime on the green– and on the pathways and in the ponds.

"They're a mess," says Meadowcreek Golf Course director Rion Summers, who estimates the resident flock to number between 100 and 200 birds.

When UVA resurrected the Dell pond in 2006, it was designed to discourage Canada geese inhabitation. The university even hired dogs to harass the birds and drive home the point that it was an inhospitable environment.

Canada geese have previously been spotted at Beaver Creek, but the size of the gaggle may be growing.

"I spend time at the reservoirs," says Bob Wichser, Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority operations manager. "I haven't noted any large population." And by that, he explains, he means from 25 to 50 geese. Wicsher had not seen the recent mob scene that was pushing 100.

The good news is that even 50 or more of the waddling water fowl defecating into Crozet's water supply is not harmful to humans, says Wichser.

"All the water taken is treated," he reassures. "Disinfection kills all pathogens."

The South Fork Rivanna Reservoir is the only water source about which Wichser has heard from concerned citizens, with at least one resident complaining about the deposits left on her deck and yard.

In the summer, when temperatures are warm, swimming in a pond where geese are defecating is more problematic because their waste can be ingested through the eyes, ears, nose, and throat, points out Wichser.

While the water authority is in charge of keeping the waters of Beaver Creek pristine– no swimming or gas engine boats allowed– Albemarle parks and recreation is in charge of the land around the lake. So far, the Canada geese have flown under their radar, at least at Beaver Creek.

"We've taken measures at Chris Greene and Walnut Creek," says Bob Crickenberger, parks and rec director. Those two county lakes and their beaches are popular with people– and the geese.

"From a health standpoint, it's not good," says Crickenberger. "Chris Greene– at one time it was out of control," he says of the lake's formerly high fecal coliform count. And Chris Greene also is closest to the airport.

"They are a nuisance," he says, and lists the measures the county has taken to keep beaches and swimming holes fecal coliform free: recordings of predatory birds, balloons, large models of owls, stringing pie pans to reflect light, and contracting the guy with the dogs to aggravate the invasive species.

"After enough time," sighs Crickenberger, "they get used to anything."

Egg addling– a method in which embryos are destroyed by coating egg shells with oil– has also been used, but all these methods aren't enough to keep them off the beaches of the popular swimming lakes.

"From time to time we'll enter into a contract with the USDA," says Crickenberger of the group that did the Forest Lakes roundup. "We use them as a last resort. People get up in arms."


Who says they're invasive species ?

"They are a nuisance," he says, and lists the measures the county has taken to keep beaches and swimming holes fecal coliform free: recordings of predatory birds, balloons, large models of owls, stringing pie pans to reflect light, and contracting the guy with the dogs to aggravate the invasive species.

The lesson here? Don't believe anything anybody says that works for RWSA, including Tom Frederick. As a matter of fact, when a spokes person opens his mouth and draws a breath just before speaking, you can be assured that person is about to tell a lie.

I think you might have broken a copyright rule when you mentioned the "Miracle on the Hudson" and failed to mention "piloted by heroic commander 'Sully' Sullenberger." My understanding--in the years following that crash--is that you are required to lay down props for the Sullmeister General anytime you mention that flight. His agency bought the rights to any mention of that flight so he could pad his pockets (because we all know veteran commercial jet pilots have horrible retirement benefits).
Was anyone as sick as I was at the old critter whoring up for publicity and fanfare after that incident?
R.I.P.: That yummy-tasting Peruvian soccer team in the Andes

Talk about censoring...totally inexcusable. Such a tame topic and such an over-the-top reaction.

Ditto that omgitspaul. They don't even have a "comment deleted by moderator" now they just disappear...

The topic of water fluoridation is a far more serious topic that far more people are concerned about, I'd sure like to see some shots of the local government employees dumping drums of literal toxic waste marked with skull and crossbones directly into the public water supply, it wouldn't be hard to do just go down there, get your camera out, and press the button.

And when you put the headline up, "Okay to drink the water, officials say" you can reasonably expect to get some discussion of water fluoridation, it's on topic even if the actual story is about dogs chasing geese, and it's wrong to censor the discussion, I can handle being insulted, what really bothers me is censorship of the discussion.

Censorship in almost any form is wrong. It's a very slippery slope and the Hook has chosen to moderate in a heavy-handed way. My comments are almost always serious in nature and I can't imagine why we would be censored having this conversation. Funny how many completely inappropriate comments were left on the Hugely stories and something like this is removed. Alternative news, my a$$. Same ol', same ol'.

They shut down the Huguely comment forum too after it became a John Giuliano insult festival.

Of course I didn't get to read yours or Erik's most recent insults (I can only assume there were insulting comments directed towards me based on past experience, hopefully they at least included some substance as well) because they deleted them but at least they didn't close the comment board yet so maybe we can start over before Lisa or whoever throws another deletion festival.

I mean the more people on Hook comment forums who cite demonstrably one-sided stories about John Giuliano originating from the Hook in an attempt to defame me, the more material they give a potential plaintiff to work with in demonstrating the consequences of libel. Or maybe just maybe they're trying to repair whatever mistakes they made, I don't know I'm not them,I'm just speculating here about why they might have chosen to delete them. In this case it might just be jealousy, I'd bet money on it if I were a gambling man like Mitt Romney.

@ Here For A Limited Time Only...The forums become a JWG insultfest because JWG hijacks every topic to create a manifesto for his "somewhat unorthodox" views and for no other reason. You should start your own blog where people can read your views and comment on them. I think you'd get quite an audience, out of curiosity if nothing else.

Is this the "demonstrably one-sided" story in question? If not, then please link to it and demonstrate its one-sidedness.

@ Liberallace...that "yummy tasting" Peruvian soccer team in the Chilean Andes was actually the Uruguayan soccer team and one of the victims was my 9th grade Spanish teacher, Suzie Parada...Just thought that was a bit callas of you.

It's a self-fulfilling prophecy to say I'm the one doing the hijacking, and this skewed logic is probably shared by the moderator. I write something "somewhat unorthodox" and people get upset/disturbed/antagonized by it even if it's perfectly cogent and on topic and then it devolves into trading barbs if I dare to defend myself. And Erik, thanks for demonstrating to all that you're "one crazy MF" (see what I mean?), because I've never written to a newspaper in the midwest, I've never called myself an unemployed zealot, maybe you're making that up and mispelling my name deliberately, I don't know, all I know is it's not true. Let me speak my peace with out being attacked personally and you might find a comment board that isn't being hijacked by you, me, or the moderator.

Say wha, it's one sided because of misinformation and blatant, deliberate omission of numerous pieces of relevant information discussed during the interview between myself and Courteney Stuart. You read something and decide it's fair and balanced but you are only told about a tenth of the actual story. I lived through the other 9 tenths and consider myself lucky to be alive. And only the peices of the story included were those that could be used to condition people to think that detaining and torturing someone off the street with out charges, bond hearings, fifith amendment rights, etc. etc. because of something they wrote on a public chalkboard is a good thing for police to be allowed to do in America.

I was literally rendered speechless by deliberate forced drugging with Haldol without the administration of cogentin, taking the first amendment violation to a new level (not that it itsn't being done to my millions of my comrades every single day). Even prisoners are allowed to be able to talk. And you don't think it's one sided to discuss the issue as it relates to free speech, when the one initiating the interview contacted the reporter expressly because of this rendering of inability to speak/walk/urinate/think clearly by the state? It's torture, and Courteney Stuart left it out so that there would be less chance of sympathy for me and more chance of sympathy for the police state. It's that simple.

And not just that but this had been done numerous times to me by the state before this incident had ever occurred, because I expressed distrust of the government for things such as water fluoridation (read my chart), because of government espionage on Americans (read my chart), because I had mercury fillings replaced by a dentist with composites (read my chart). I wrote what I wrote because I knew I couldn't live my life afraid of being tortured by pig demons and I had to write something "somewhat unorthodox" if I was to feel as if I had courage to stand up to the people who had oppressed me so wrongly in the past. I lived up to it and it wasn't a mistake.

Not you, eh? Must be your doppleganger

Maybe there's someone else with that name in Virginia, or maybe you just chose the wrong nome de plume.

It's Giuliano. Capice? And yeah it was a shame about the baby getting electrocuted, but I guess that's not really your point, is it? You really are creepy to google my name, I'm flattered you did though. There's other stuff on there too but I'm not a gay cowboy from Key West so don't go there, please.

John Walton Giuliano...Now I get it, the dude with the AK47 message on the downtown mall free range rude board. I think you're right about that Mercury in vaccines thing. Betcha you had a few when you was a little nipper, eh? Of course you're an "unemployed zealot" as in your forgotten post to the Nebraska paper back in 2007. But, I'm being mean to taunt you so. Life has not been easy for you, has it?

You're taking the story of a baby being electrocuted as a result of having neglectful parents and using it to try to defame my because I commented on how it was a tragedy. That is the definition of pathetic.

Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

@ JWG...C'mon man! While I'm not defending you, I'm not condemning you either. Just because I don't share your views doesn't make them any less valid to you and I would hope that you would share that level of respect with me.

And if you wanted to comment on that thread you had to list your occupation as well as your name.

Geese deficate their own weight everyday........if you see a big one, hide.

So the bottom line here is it's safe to drink the water unless you're JWG, but under no circumstances is it ever safe to eat yellow snow...

Bottom line is that when "officials" tell you it's safe to drink the water, they're feeding you a line of goose droppings. The EPA Union of Scientists called for an immediate moratorium on fluoridation seven years ago.

But if that doesn't bother you, there's yellow stuff being added to the water too. It's called uranium.

How did we get off of geeese here? This thread is hard to follow. .