Shenandoah Riverkeeper limits pollution of the Massanutten Sewage Treatment Plant

We’re writing to share the success of the Shenandoah Riverkeeper, one of our network members.

In the past, the undersized Massanutten Sewage Treatment Plant purchased nitrogen and phosphorous “credits” when it could not handle the volume of wastewater from a ski resort in Virginia. The credits allowed the plant to discharge excess nutrients to the Shenandoah River, which led to heavy algal growth at the top of the Shenandoah watershed. Algal blooms decrease oxygen content in water, leading to declines in aquatic life.

After prompting from the Shenandoah Riverkeeper, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality rewrote the treatment plant’s permit, giving the plant numeric limits for nutrient release, removing nutrient trading from the facility and accelerating the timeline for the owners to upgrade their plant and operations from four years to just one year.

Aerial photo of Massanutten STP by Alan Lehman

Congratulations to Shenandoah Riverkeeper for this important victory in keeping our waters clean!

If your organization/local watershed group is in a similar situation and would like to get in contact withShenandoah Riverkeeper, please contact Kimberly Williams, Coordinator of the CLEAN WATER NETWORK, at

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