Lakeside E. coli levels skyrocket

E. coli contamination at Lakeside Park is four times higher this week than last.

The city suspects geese are the cause of the high E. coli numbers.

The city suspects geese are the cause of the high E. coli numbers.

E. coli contamination at Lakeside Park is four times higher this week than last.

Water samples taken on Friday have shown 4,850 counts of E. coli per 100 ml of water, a sharp increase from levels of 1,100 and 845 during the previous week. The acceptable level is 200.

“We thought they (the Interior Health Authority which processes the samples) had accidentally added a zero to the number,” said Nelson’s public works director Colin Innes on Tuesday.

Innes said the high reading came from the water just off the beach, but a reading taken at the wharf on the east end of the beach produced an almost inexplicably low number: five.

Innes said health authority staff told him that numbers like 5,000 counts of E. coli are not unusual on the Okanagan in areas where there are a lot of geese.

He said other tests taken just downstream from the beach have not been processed yet.

City staff have been checking for a sewage leak, Innes said, but have turned up nothing.

Nelson Star

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