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E. coli found in area creeks

Routine monthly water tests showed several creeks in the Bear Creek watershed exceeded state standards for E. coli, according to a press release from the Rogue Valley Council of Governments.

The testing conducted July 9 showed the following creeks exceeded state bacteria standards for swimming and wading:

  • Walker Creek at the Belle Fiore Winery entrance in Ashland
  • Neil Creek at Dead Indian Memorial Road across from the Ashland Airport
  • Bear Creek at Eagle Mill Road in Ashland
  • Bear Creek at Suncrest Road in Talent
  • Bear Creek at Ninth Street in Medford
  • Bear Creek at Table Rock Road in Central Point
  • Jackson Creek at Beall Lane in Central Point
  • Bear Creek above Griffin Creek in Central Point
  • Griffin Creek off the Bear Creek Greenway near Interstate 5

Residents are asked to use caution when in contact with any waterways by avoiding ingestion and contact with open wounds, according to the release. Very young children should be supervised when playing to make sure they do not swallow water.

“We don’t want to unnecessarily panic people,” said Greg Stabach, natural resources program manager for RVCOG. “We just want people to be aware and take precautions.”

Possible causes for the high levels of bacteria include pet and livestock waste, leaking septic tanks and illegal dumping from portable toilets.

Complaints about failing septic tanks and other pollutants contaminating streams should be reported to the DEQ hotline at 1-888-997-7888.

Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneTrash and debris float to the sides of Bear Creek .