High levels of E. coli, fecal matter found in floodwaters from Dutchtown, Cape Girardeau

CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - Floodwater samples collected from Dutchtown and Cape Girardeau tested positive for high levels of fecal coliform and E. coli.

Two samples each from location off of Highway 74 in Dutchtown, Missouri and near the Red Star Boat Ramp in Cape Girardeau, Missouri were taken on Wednesday, June 24.

One sample was tested for E. coli while the other was tested for fecal coliform.

The Dutchtown samples were found with 11,600 C.F.U./100mL (colony forming units) for fecal coliform and 1,600 C.F.U./100ml for E. coli.

The Cape Girardeau samples were found to have 3,260 C.F.U./100mL for fecal coliform and 262 C.F.U./100ml for E. coli.

Anything more than 500 C.F.U./100mL for fecal coliform and 190 C.F.U./100ml for E.coli are considered high levels of bacteria and may pose a health risk.

The Environmental Analysis South Inc. in Jackson, Mo. tested the samples.

According to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, they sample water quality at all designated swimming beaches in state parks in Missouri on a weekly basis during the recreational season. Water samples are analyzed for E. coli. It is normal for E. coli and other bacteria to be found naturally-occurring levels in ponds, streams, rivers, lakes and reservoirs.

Elevated bacteria levels are frequently associated with heavy rains; however, there are other sources that may contribute to elevated bacteria levels which may pose a health risk.

According to state law, Missouri DNR will post signs notifying visitors that swimming is not recommended if the geometric mean of the water quality sample results exceed 190 E. coli colonies per 100 milliliters of water (190 mpn/100 ml).

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