High bacteria levels in Ashland Creek

Ashland, Ore. – Despite warning signs, many adults and children were still enjoying Ashland Creek today. The creek is being called “unsafe” after water tests came back positive with high levels of bacteria, specifically E. coli.

“The E. coli levels generally will go up at some point during the year, it’s generally after a big rain,” parks and recreation director, Michael Black said.

He says factors like people bathing in the water or human and animal waste may have caused the problem.

“I think there’s many, many factors that lead to this, and honestly I think the camps in the watershed plus animal waste are the main causes,” he said.

This news hasn’t stopped parents in the park from allowing their kids to play in the water. Park goers did say they wished the warnings were closer to the creek, but as long as entry ways stay open – they don’t see a problem.

“In the past when the E. coli levels have been raised to the point where there is caution tape and it is blocked off at that point at that point, I no longer engage with the creek. Until that happens, I know there is one sign posted, but I think to dip our feet in on a hot day is still okay,” Ashland resident, Hayley said.

Bacteria levels in the water are tested every week, but the parks and recreation department doesn’t know when the levels will be safe again.

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