E. Coli Samples OK at Lake of the Ozarks – freshare.net

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E. Coli Samples OK at Lake of the Ozarks

By RandyR


Recent bacteria testing of water in the Lake of the Ozarks found 61 of the 62 samples safe for swimming and other whole body contact recreation, according to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

The test samples, the third in a series of six monthly samplings that began in May and will run through October, were taken July 9. Through the first three months of testing, 97.2 percent of the water samples taken found E. coli bacteria within acceptable limits.

“Because of the number of samples we’ve collected, to have such a small percentage over the standard has been good news considering the amount of development in that area of the lake,” said Randy Niemeyer, an environmental specialist with the Department of Natural Resources.

The only sample found to have E. coli bacteria at levels above the standard set for swimming and other whole body contact recreation was taken at Cove 009, located between Cherokee Road and Kays Point Road. The Cove 009 sample had E. coli bacteria at nearly twice the level considered safe for swimming, but less than half of the levels found when the same area was tested on May 29.

The two remaining samples that did not meet the standard for E.coli on May 29, both located in the Jennings Branch Cove, were well within those limits on July 9. The first dropped from nearly seven times over the standard to less than 10 percent of the standard. The second site went from 14 percent over the standard to less than 3 percent of the standard.

The second set of samples, which was taken June 11, found only one sample out of 57 that did not meet the standard. That sample, which was taken at the McCoy Branch Cove, showed E.coli concentrations of just less than twice the standard.

The Department of Natural Resources, in partnership with the Department of Conservation, Ameren UE and the Lake of the Ozarks Watershed Alliance, is testing 28 coves from Bagnell Dam to the Community Bridge over a six-month period this year. Alliance volunteers trained to do such sampling have nearly doubled the number of sites that can be sampled, Niemeyer said.

“You have people who live on the lake who care about it and who make the effort to do this monitoring,” he said.

Fourteen coves are sampled each month. Ameren is paying $15,000 per year for the five-year study. When completed, the water testing will include coves from Bagnell Dam to Truman Dam.

Samples will be taken again on Aug. 6, Sept. 4 and Oct. 9. The sampling protocol is arranged so that odd-numbered coves are sampled in odd-numbered months, even-numbered coves in even-numbered months.

E. coli is a bacteria found in the intestinal tract of warm-blooded animals. Frequently associated with faulty septic tanks or sewer systems, E. coli can cause gastrointestinal illness.

Water sample test result data are online at http://www.lmvp.org/LOWA/ecoli.htm A link to the data can also be accessed through LOWA’s Web site, http://www.soslowa.org


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