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Ashland Creek Safety Watch: Ashland Creek through Lithia Park

Routine water quality bacteria test results indicate that Ashland Creek in Lithia Park at the children’s playground area currently exceed state standards for contact recreation (swimming, wading, and bathing). Residents are asked to use caution when in contact with the water and especially to avoid ingestion (which may cause illness) and contact with open wounds (which may cause infection). Very young children should be fully supervised when playing in water to avoid swallowing the water.  It is important to note that contact with any water body—creeks, rivers, lakes or swimming pools—carries some level of risk. 
 
Possible causes of high bacteria levels in the creek include: 1) pet waste, 2) livestock waste, 3) wild animals, 4) leaking septic systems, 5) illegal dumping from portable toilets or RVs, or 6) any other activity that results in the discharge of fecal matter directly into creeks or through storm drains. 
 
Citizens are asked to notify the appropriate agency about any concerns. Complaints can be reported to the complaint hotline at 1-888-997-7888 or online at http://www.deq.state.or.us/complaints/rep.htm. Health-related questions should be directed to Jackson County Public Health (541-774-8206).
 
What you can do:
 
  1. Pick up after your pets.
  2. Do not dump manure, kitty litter, or other waste material in or near creeks or storm drains.
  3. Have your septic system inspected and repaired if failing.
  4. Put toddlers in swim diapers.
  5. Find out more. Information is available from Ashland Parks and Recreation (www.AshlandParksandRec.org), the Oregon Department of Human Services (www.oregon.gov/dhs), and the Environmental Protection Agency (http://www.epa.gov/waterscience/criteria/humanhealth/)
     

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