The Shiawassee County Health Department recently conducted water samples of the Shiawassee River to monitor E. coli bacteria levels. Three locations were monitored, including McCurdy Park, the Gould Street Bridge, and Curwood Castle Bridge. The Shiawassee River has been deemed safe for partial body contact, however, health department representatives do not recommend full body contact, such as swimming, because river conditions change rapidly.
These recently sampled locations are currently “in compliance” with state guidelines for bacterial concentrations and body contact. Exposure to any recreational water can be a potential health risk. Gastrointestinal and dermatological illnesses have been associated with recreational water exposure.
The samples were collected on May 30, with the water tested at the Curwood Castle Bridge showing 86 colony forming units (CFU) per 100 milliliters (mL) of water. The water tested at Gould St. contained 71 CFU per 100 mL, and the water sampled at McCurdy Park showed 45 CFU per 100 mL. The state guideline, per the Public Health Code Act 368, Section 333.12544 of the Michigan Compiled Laws, states that E. coli levels should not exceed 300 CFU per 100 mL of water.