Mapper tracks E. coli levels in watersheds
By BEN MUIR
Capital News Service
LANSING — Almost 200 lakes, rivers and beaches in Michigan have high levels of E. coli bacteria, according to the Department of Environmental Quality. And you can find out where they are with an online tool created by the department. “Our tool is mostly for exploring your watershed to find out where the water quality is impaired by E. coli,” said Molly Rippke, the department’s senior aquatic biologist. “We are not going to be predicting anything, or have last week’s data on there.”
Instead, the “Mapper” tab shows whether a watershed — land that drains water into streams and rivers – has exceeded acceptable levels of E. coli in the past. The data on the tool are about two months old and will be updated every year, Rippke said.