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High amounts of E. coli found in local creeks

file photo

Routine water quality tests in areas of the Bear Creek Basin found that eight creeks exceeded state bacteria standards for contact recreation, specifically for E. coli, according to a press release from the Rogue Valley Council of Governments.

The samples were collected June 29.

The release advised residents to use caution when in contact with waterways and to avoid ingestion of water, which could cause illness, and avoid contact with open wounds, which may cause infections.

Possible causes for the high levels of bacteria in the creek include pet waste, livestock waste, wild animals, leaking septic systems, illegal dumping from portable toilets or RVs or any other activity that results in the discharge of fecal matter directly into the creek or through storm drains.

Residents are asked to pick up after their pets, keep manure, kitty litter and other waste material away from creeks and storm drains, have their septic system inspected and repaired if failing and put toddlers in swim diapers.

The creeks that have exceeded state water quality standards for bacteria include:

  • Neil Creek at Dead Indian Memorial Road to the mouth in Ashland
  • Bear Creek at South Valley View Road in north Ashland
  • Bear Creek from Lynn Newbry Park in Talent to Blue Heron Park in Phoenix
  • Bear Creek at Ninth Street in Medford
  • Jackson Creek at Beall Lane in Central Point
  • Bear Creek at Pine Street in Central Point
  • Griffin Creek at I-5 in Central Point
  • Jackson Creek at Dean Creek Road in Central Point