Give Now

Brown County Sees E. Coli Levels Far Above Allowable Limit

Brown County officials say they have been applying for grants to clean up the E. coli for the past 14 years.

dock in Brown County

Photo: Blake Facey (flickr)

Some ponds in Brown County have tested high for E. coli.

E. Coli levels in Brown County have been reported at an extremely high level.

An  E. Coli level of 235 ppm will shut down a public swimming pool while drinking water levels must be at zero.  Levels in Bean Blossom area ponds and creeks have recently been reported as high as 240,000 ppm.

The high levels were first detected in ponds and creeks in the Bean Blossom area 10 to 12 years ago and have only continued to rise.

Brown County environmental health supervisor  John Kennard says the problem continues to grow because the grants depend more on the financial need rather than the environmental need.

“For about 14 years now we have been trying to figure out how to make the need greater,” he says. “The way you can make the need greater is you have to expand that service area.”

The Bean Blossom Regional Sewer District, which was established in 2006, recently agreed to provide countywide services, but IDEM spokesperson Amy Hartsock says it is simply  to address future needs in areas that are not currently served by a district.

She says in the meantime, residents in the Bean Blossom area should follow general safety precautions.

“Avoid drinking or getting water splashed in your mouth,” Hartsock says. “And if you’re fishing, or boating, or swimming in a lake, or river or stream, wash very well. Wash your hands; wash any skin that comes into contact with the water.”

While residents wait for a new disposal system, officials plan to  look at alternative solutions.

Emily Wright

Emily, an Indianapolis native, joined WFIU/WTIU in 2013 as Producer of Noon Edition. She studied Telecommunications and Liberal Arts Management at Indiana University.

View all posts by this author »

  • Jack_M_eoph

    Indiana creeks have long been sewers for leaking septic systems and farm field chemicals & confinement animal operations. This goes for Monroe County as much as any other. Haven’t you noticed how green everything is along the banks?
    The state has no idea what to do and have the funds for just a tiny fraction of the clean up. They see it as safer for themselves to do nothing rather than to expose the problem for what it is to the public along with what little they have the capacity to do about it.
    You might say, it is past the tipping point!

  • Pingback: Waste Water Problems | Noon Edition - Indiana Public Media

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

Search News

Stay Connected

RSS e-mail itunes Facebook Twitter Flickr YouTube

Follow us on Twitter

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Recent Health Stories

Recent Videos

Find Us on Facebook