E Coli In River Next to Homeless Camps

As this story from the Sacramento Bee reports.

Some excerpts.

Planning to visit the lower American River this holiday weekend? Potentially harmful levels of bacteria lurk in certain stretches, authorities warned Tuesday.

Boaters, swimmers, kayakers and others can still enjoy the river on the Fourth of July and into the weekend, county officials said. But they urged using “common sense” precautions because certain stretches of the waterway are contaminated with potentially harmful levels of E. coli bacteria.

The latest tests of water samples near Tiscornia Beach, Discovery Park, Sutter’s Landing Park and Steelhead Creek revealed E. coli levels that are higher than the standard set by the Environmental Protection Agency, said Adam Laputz, assistant executive director of the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board….

Along the Lower American River, the highest E. coli level was recorded this week at Sutter’s Landing, well above the federal standard, according to the map. But just downstream, Camp Pollock had levels that met EPA criteria.

The board has been testing water samples weekly along the river this summer in an effort to pinpoint problem areas, look for pathogens and determine the sources of contamination. Sources likely include human waste from homeless camps, sewer overflows, wildlife and domestic dogs, Laputz said.

County health officials said they are unaware of any cases of illnesses related to the water’s contamination, but said visitors should be cautious. Anyone who suffers gastrointestinal illness after spending time in the river should contact their physician, they said.

  1. coli is a “naturally occurring” bacteria, and most strains of it are harmless, said Laputz. But some contain dangerous pathogens that can sicken humans, such as giardia, salmonella and Hepatitis A….

The most problematic sections of the waterway have high concentrations of homeless camps, he said.

Retrieved July 3, 2018 from https://www.sacbee.com/news/article214295669.html

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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