Village seeks source of E.coli bacteria in waterway

Associated Press

Lake Isabella — Officials in the mid-Michigan Village of Lake Isabella want to know the source of E. coli bacteria found in a local waterway.

Community and area health officials have been monitoring E.coli in Lake Isabella for the past two years and will test the bacteria’s DNA to determine if its origin is human or animal based, the Morning Sun in Mount Pleasant reported Sunday.

Weekly testing of beaches last year found no issues, Village Manager Tim Wolff told the newspaper.

But readings indicated that for seven of 10 weeks tested this year, levels were above the safe standard where the Chippewa River enters the village at Rolland Road.

“Once the river enters the community and reaches the lake there is sufficient water to dilute the E. coli readings down to very low levels,” Wolff said. “In the 11 summers I have worked for the village, I cannot recall there ever being a problem with any of our beaches.”

An environmental team with the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe also tests the river in several places each week. That testing shows E. coli being more of an issue downstream of the lake, Wolff added.

Ingesting the bacteria can cause gastrointestinal illness. Commonly reported symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, stomach cramps and vomiting.