E. Coli levels in parts of Yahara, Rock rivers pose health risk, officials say

MADISON, Wis. - High levels of E. Coli bacteria have been found in the Yahara and Rock rivers from Indianford to Beloit, according to a release from the Rock County Public Health Department.

The health department routinely conducts surface water testing of beaches and recreational waters during warm weather months and provides advisories of conditions that might be a health risk to water users, officials said.

Sampling on July 12 indicated E. Coli levels in excess of 1,000 colony-forming units per 100 mls of water at four locations – the Yahara River at Stebbinsville, the Yahara River at Murwin Park in Fulton, The Rock River at Traxler Park in Janesville, and Preservation Park in the town of Beloit.

At these levels, surface water may not be suitable for recreational activities that could result in water ingestion due to the risk of intestinal illness, officials said.

“Recent rains have resulted in significant runoff that may be contributing to the high bacteria levels,” the release said.

Lake Koshkonong and Clear Lake both tested at healthy advisory levels, officials said.

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