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High levels of dangerous bacteria found in Boone Co. creeks

High levels of dangerous bacteria have been recorded in multiple bodies of water in Boone Co.

The Columbia Boone County Health Department has a warning for residents who live near or frequent parks with these nearby bodies of water.

The Health Department tested for E. Coli in Flat Branch Creek, and the water contained unacceptable amounts of the bacteria for natural bathing beaches.

Officials with the health department said it takes monthly samples of creeks and lakes in the county during the summer months.

If a series of tests remains high, the health department will post a sign warning residents.

The health danger comes if someone drinks the water. Just being in it will not necessarily make you sick unless it gets into an open cut.

High levels of E. Coli have also been found in Stephens Lake this summer among other lakes and creeks.

The elevated level of E. Coli in the water, in part, can be blamed on the weather.

“Earlier in the summer we had a lot of rain, and with rain comes surface runoff. So, you have to think of anything else that might be on the ground, especially around a large lake or something. If there’s Canadian geese, then you get geese feces in the water or dog feces if someone hasn’t cleaned up after their pet,” said Kayla Wekenborg-Tomka with the Columbia/Boone Co. Health Department.

Most E. Coli levels in lakes and creeks around the county have dropped below dangerous levels. The levels at Flat Branch Creek usually remain higher because of its location, right in the middle of the city.

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