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E.coli Warning in Ashland Creek

DATE:             July 29, 2016  
CONTACT:     Michael A. Black, APRC Director
                        541-488-5340 or 541-552-2251
Ashland Creek Safety Watch: Ashland Creek through Lithia Park
Routine water quality bacteria test results for Ashland Creek in Lithia Park show E. coli levels exceeding state standards for swimmers, waders and bathers. Park visitors are asked to use caution when coming into contact with water at the children’s playground and swimming reservoir. Ingestion is to be avoided (may cause illness) as well as contact with open wounds (may cause infection). Very young children should be cautioned against entering the water. In the event of contact with the water, full supervision is advised so swallowing does not occur.  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. 
Health-related questions should be directed to Jackson County Public Health at 541-774-8206. Complaints can be reported to the State or Oregon complaint hotline at 1-888-997-7888 or online at
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 babies and toddlers in swim diapers.
5) Find out more. Information is available from Ashland Parks and Recreation (, the Oregon Department of Human Services (, and the Environmental Protection Agency (

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