DANVILLE, Va. -

Michael Seepe's farm boarders the Dan River.

"My farm basically runs from this road, everything that way. And the river is to our left," Seepe said pointing at about five acres of land.

He doesn't use the river to irrigate his fields but his land is in a flood plain. The threat of flooding doesn't phase him but the coal ash mixture coming over the banks on his property isn't what he had in mind to feed and water his crop.

Lawyers sent him a letter Monday asking him to join a suit against Duke Energy after the coal ash spill nearly three months ago.

"Everybody who has property along the river has been contacted by some attorney saying hey, join us and jump in," Seepe said.

He hasn't joined the lawsuit. He's one of the few farmers along this stretch of the river who doesn't use the river to irrigate his farm.

Upstream in North Carolina, farmers use irrigation pilots that pull water from the river. A study from North Carolina State University recommends only using river water from the surface with less coal ash for irrigation purposes.

Brian Williams from the Dan River Basin Association says that's difficult when it floods.

"It rolls the sediments off the bottom. Well this coal ash is mixed in with these sediments so it's rolling that up too," Williams said.

If the water breaks the bank of the river the coal ash comes too. His team is monitoring river levels and the potential hazards.

"We really don't know what the effects are going to be. Are the crops going to up take this stuff, the heavy metals?" Williams said.

The study warns farmers of using water with high amounts of visible coal ash.

Researchers say harmful levels of heavy metals may damage crops. Those researchers and local agriculture agents are taking samples of the soil now to compare against data after a flood. They suggest farmers to monitor federal and state water samples regularly.

Duke Energy is planning to start vacuum dredging next week in Danville. That is if water levels stay where they are. Crews are expecting this week's heavy storms to impact their work.