FAIRFIELD, Ohio (FOX19) - The City of Fairfield is warning residents to avoid swimming in the Great Miami River due to high levels of E. coli bacteria.
The city said an upstream wastewater treatment plant located outside the city is experiencing operational issues.
The Ohio EPA and Butler County General Health District confirmed Thursday the E. coli is due to the release of under-treated sewage by the Middletown Wastewater Treatment Plant.
The plant is located south of Oxford State Road in Lemon Township.
According to Hamilton County Public Health, there was a release of under0treated sewage. The release began June 11 and was repaired June 16.
Public documents containing email exchanges between EPA officials regarding the plant show the plant was slightly above permissible discharge levels of E.coli in the river last week and that the numbers continued to rise.
According to the emails, Monday’s E.coli discharge was too high to count, and Tuesday’s was 24,196 parts per 100 milliliters of water.
BCGHD and the City of Hamilton Health Department are advising citizens not to enter or fish in the Great Miami River downstream of Oxford State Road.
BCGHD and CHHD are advising the public not to enter the water until normal operations at the wastewater treatment plant has been corrected.
Increased health risks associated with coming into contact with wastewater include parasites, viruses and bacteria that can cause a range of conditions such as diarrhea, dysentery, gastroenteritis and hepatitis A, according to BCGHD.
Swallowing a small amount of contaminated wastewater or having contaminated wastewater come in contact with an open wound may make you sick, BCGHD says.
It advises you to seek medical care immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms, or if you have any concerns at all:
- your diarrhea is bloody or diarrhea isn’t improving after 3 days
- your diarrhea is accompanied by fever or chills
- you are dehydrated (signs of dehydration include: dry or “cottony” mouth, cracked lips, dry flushed skin, headache, irritability, not urinating at least four times a day, no tears when crying, not sweating, or confusion)