Surface water being monitored for E. Coli

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By Nubia Buckingham
Mason Times staff writer

The County Health Department and the United States Geological Survey are seeking money to test Sycamore Creek for E. coli contamination.

City Administrator Martin Colburn presented the surface water monitoring information at the April 1 City Council meeting.

According to the administrator report Sycamore Creek is considered impaired body of water and is contaminated.

Sycamore Creek is in south central Ingham County, which includes Holt, Mason, and
part of Lansing.

The drainage area is 67,740 acres.

If the health department is awarded the grant, then testing will happen in 2014. “They’re working together to do a series of testing,” said Colburn.

The survey will consist of Microbial Source Trackers which determine the host of fecal pollution.

The E. coli bacteria occur naturally in bodies of water, but they want to determine if the concentration of it certain areas is caused by humans.

If it’s caused by humans, the health department wants to understand why and what to do prevent from happening.

Council Member Elaine Ferris said seven sites would be tested over 22 weeks.

The objective is to keep the sanitary water system consistent according to the report.

“It’s a concern because they could have sanitary sewage overflow,” said Colburn.

There are other methods apart of prevention.

“UV sterilization breaks up germs,” said Ferris.

Mayor Pro Tem Robin Naeyaert said it happens often.

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