What is in the water you are swimming in? - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

What is in the water you are swimming in?


New concerns tonight about E. coli infested waters ruining your summer vacation plans. Alabama river keeper today releasing troubling results of new water tests.

 Every week the Cahaba and Coosa River Keepers test areas along the river that are known places for people to go swimming in. This week out of 16 testing areas along the Cahaba, 11 of those tests show high levels of E. coli.

David Butler is the Cahaba River Keeper and he wants you to be aware before jumping in. "There are places where the levels of E. coli exceeded the state standard for safe recreation by tenfold," he explains.

In those situations, Dr. Don Abele says E. coli is not the only bacteria you should be concerned about. "But the problem when you start to find them in the water, other bacteria can come with it," Dr. Abele explains.

A lot of it is thanks to all the rain we have seen. "Last week we had a ton of rain and we saw a spike in bacteria levels in basically every sample that we took," Butler states, "Washing everything near the area into the river in one big flush." "So you get all the animal waste. Overwhelmed septic systems, leaking of over flowing sewage treatment systems," Butler explains.

River Keepers test the waters every week and if test results are bad again it could ruin your holiday plans. "If we get more rain this week I would exercise caution if you are going to be out on the Fourth of July," Butler says. If you start to see symptoms like having the diarrhea, cramping, headaches, and fevers, you need to see a doctor immediately before you become severally dehydrated.

The Coosa River and the Cahaba River both have swim guides that are posted every week letting you know what areas are seeing high E. coli levels.



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