During the summer months, Ozarks residents spend more time in local recreational waters such as streams and rivers. However, water in these swimming areas can contain harmful bacteria and parasites from human or animal waste and wastewater runoff. When a person swallows contaminated water they may become sick with a recreational water illness. The most common recreational water illness is diarrhea, which is caused by swallowing water contaminated by E. coli, Shigella, Giardia or Cryptosporidium.
In order to provide swimmers with information on the quality of water in local swimming holes, the Health Department partners with the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks to monitor select stream and river locations in Greene County for the presence of coliform bacteria (E. coli). The total E. coli bacteria count is an indication of fecal water contamination.
Samples are collected from five area swimming locations weekly by the Watershed Committee, typically between Memorial Day and Labor Day, and tested by our lab staff. Sites are selected based on their accessibility and the likelihood that people might come in contact with the water. The health department does not regulate these sites in any way – the information is provided as a community service.
Current Test Results
We use the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) established water quality criteria for monitoring bacteria, which states that no single water sample should have an E. coli count that exceeds 235 CFUs (colony forming units) per 100 ml of water.
The most current results are shown. "NA" indicates the site was not accessible for testing. The figure 2419.2 is the maximum readout of our instruments, which is why a greater than (>) symbol may accompany that number.