According to DEQ spokesman Rod Bodkin, our waters have very high levels of fecal coliform bacteria. The state standard is 1,000 cells per 100-milliliter sample. He says our waters far exceed that standard.
High concentrations of livestock cause the problem. Despite most of our rivers and streams being put on the state list of impaired waters, Bodkin says he wouldn't change his outdoor activities.
"I think you always have to be concerned with swimming in free flowing streams," said Bodkin. "As far as fishing, tubing, and canoeing, I don't think people should change a thing."
Now that the study is in place, plans will be put into action to clean up the waterways.