E. coli levels now below water quality standards for swimming, other contact
Frankfort, Ky. (June 26, 2015) – The Kentucky Division of Water (KDOW) and the Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH) have lifted the swimming advisory issued for the Levisa Fork in Pike County.
The advisory was issued June 12, and covered Levisa Fork from the Virginia state line (river mile 126.4) to river mile 114.8 (the headwaters of Fishtrap Lake) as a result of high E. coli levels in the river. Fishtrap Lake was never part of the advisory, and multiple samples taken from the lake showed levels of E. coli well below the KDOW threshold for a swimming advisory.
On May 12, 2015, KDOW was notified that the Buchanan County (Virginia) Public Service Authority wastewater treatment facility had been discharging untreated wastewater directly into the Levisa Fork since early March 2015 because of blocked sewer mains resulting from a winter weather event. The wastewater treatment facility completed repairs last week. Recent water samples confirmed the stream is now safe for swimming and wading. KDOW will continue to collect water samples to check for E. coli in the Levisa Fork and Fishtrap Lake.
The potential for human health risks exist in any natural body of water. These risks are increased when water is ingested. To reduce health risks, avoid taking part in water-based activities where swimming advisories are issued and in areas with obvious odors or surface scums. By using a common sense approach, the risks of health issues can greatly be decreased.
For additional information, contact Sarah Gaddis at the Kentucky Division of Water at 502- 564-3410 or Kathy Fowler, director, Division of Public Health Protection and Safety, Department for Public Health at 502-564-7398.