High E.Coli Levels Found in Monkton

By Kristen Tripodi

Published 07/18 2014 06:27PM

Updated 07/18 2014 06:35PM

MONKTON, Vt. - Before heading to your favorite swimming hole this summer make sure you check with your town to see what’s in the water.

This week two swimming spots along Lewis Creek in Addison County are closed because of high levels of E. coli.

“There are a few different instances for E. coli in the water. A lot of E. coli can come from wildlife waste. And that often happens after a large rain. You will have a lot of waste washed down from the wild land from the different areas that go into a lake or river or creek,” said Sarah Vose, a Toxicologist with the state of Vermont.

The Lewis Creek Association takes monthly samples from Lewis Creek and five other streams. Volunteers then take it to the state lab in Burlington for testing.

“Our guidance value is 235 CFUs per 100 milliliters,” said Vose.
Vose says if the tests show levels higher than 235 people have a greater chance of getting sick.

A sample of water from Lewis Creek tested positive for high levels of e coli. Since then the town of Monkton is warning people not to swim in the area because for the time being, it’s unsafe.

Organizers with the Lewis Creek Association say the tests from the Tyler Bridge site revealed E. coli levels of more than 680. Test results from Lewis Creek near Route Seven in Ferrisburgh show the level sitting at 272.

“If you look at water quality data from around the country we often see samples as high as 20 thousand CFU per 100 mills. So 600 is higher than our guidance value and I think they took the appropriate action to notify people that swimming may not be safe at that moment.  But relatively speaking, 600 is relatively low,” said Vose.

So don't worry the sites won't be closed for the rest of the summer. Vose says because the water is constantly moving the E. coli levels change very quickly.

If you choose to swim and happen to ingest the water in these areas you might get sick Vose says it usually hits you like the stomach flu. So for right now the town of Monkton recommends people stay out of the water until future tests come back lower.

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