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Health Department Tests for Bacteria in Area Swimming Holes

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/healthdepa_3286.mp3

Four out of 5 popular swimming spots sampled in Greene County have E. coli bacteria levels higher than what's generally considered suitable for swimming. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

The Springfield Greene County Health Department tested 5 local swimming holes for the presence of e coli and only 1 had levels generally considered safe by federal standards for swimming. Karen McKinnis is environmental and community health planner with the Springfield Greene County Health Department. She says the four swimming spots with E coli levels above acceptable standards for swimming were still below levels considered completely unsafe.

The areas that were in that gray zone include Crighton Access on the James River, Wilson Creek at Farm Road 123 and Farm Road 146, Galloway Creek at Highways 65 and 60, and Lake Springfield below the dam. McKinnis notes that these samples are only a snap shot of the water on the day the department conducted the test. She says it's always wise to take precautions no matter where you swim.

McKinnis says if water looks murky or has a noticeable odor, it's probably a good idea to find another place to swim. She says it's also important to remember that E coli levels usually spike after a heavy rain due to agricultural run off. You can check weekly stream test results from the Springfield Greene County Health Department online. We've got a link at our website, KSMU dot org.

Links:

  • Springfield-Greene County Health Department Stream Test Results