Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Virginia Department of Health
State Board of Health
Recreational Water Advisories [12 VAC 5 ‑ 135]
Establish Regulations for Recreational Water
Action 5209
General Information
Action Summary Regulations will be promulgated within the Virginia Administrative Code to establish the Virginia Department of Health’s (VDH) role in issuing and lifting recreational water advisories based on the Beach Action Value (BAV). The BAV is the concentration of an indicator organism equal to or above which beach advisories shall be issued and below which beach advisories shall be lifted. The regulation will include procedures for issuing and lifting beach advisories. Currently, beach advisories are issued by VDH, however, the authority lies within the Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) regulation 9VAC25-260-170. DEQ is promulgating a revision of this regulation which would remove 9VAC25-260-170(A)(5) which reads: “For beach advisories or closures, a single sample maximum of 235 E. coli CFU/100 ml in freshwater and a single sample maximum of 104 enterococci CFU/100 ml in saltwater and transition zones shall apply.” In order for VDH to continue to manage beach advisories in recreational water, promulgation of the proposed regulation is necessary in the VDH section of the Virginia Administrative Code. The proposed regulation will be promulgated in 12VAC5-135. Substantive changes include the removal of individual reference values for the single sample maximum (235 E. coli CFU/100 ml in freshwater and 104 enterococci CFU/100 ml in saltwater and transition zones) and establishing in the new regulation reference to a BAV. The BAV will be maintained in the VDH Beach Monitoring and Notification Protocol. The BAV threshold is set at 104 enterococci CFU/100 ml in salt water and transition zones. There is no established VDH monitoring protocol for E. coli in recreational fresh water for the issuance of advisories.
Chapters Affected Only affects this chapter.
Executive Branch Review This action will go through the normal Executive Branch Review process.
RIS Project Yes  [005588]
New Periodic Review This action will not be used to conduct a new periodic review.
Stages associated with this regulatory action.
Stage ID Stage Type Status
8505 Fast-Track Stage complete. This regulation became effective on 10/03/2019.
Contact Information
Name / Title: Margaret Smigo  / Waterborne Hazards Program Coordinator
Address: 109 Governor St
Richmond, VA 23219
Email Address:
Phone: (804)864-8128    FAX: ()-    TDD: ()-

This person is the primary contact for this chapter.