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Bacteria Warning in Jackson Co. Creeks

Creek WarningASHLAND, Ore. — With the weekend here, and temperatures expected to be high, the Rogue Valley Council of Governments is issuing a warning for swimmers and waders, who might be thinking of hitting some of the creeks around the Bear Creek Watershed in Jackson County.

Routine water testing of certain waterways has revealed bacteria levels that exceed state standards for recreational contact. Officials are citing: pet and livestock waste, wild animals, leaking septic systems, and illegal dumping as possible causes for the increase.

While any body of water carries some level of risk, certain bodies of water are prompting officials to urge extra caution. These include: Neil Creek in Ashland; Ashland Creek, below the sewage treatment plant; Griffin and Jackson Creeks in Jacksonville; as well as Jackson Creek in Central Point; and Bear Creek, in Talent, through the mouth of the Rogue.

If you find unsanitary conditions at a waterway in the area, or if you observe someone dumping a portable toilet, or failing to pick up after their pet, you can report this to the Department of Governmental Quality, at 1-888-997-7888…or online, at http://www.deq.state.or.us/complaints/

If you are concerned about the risk-level on a body of water not listed in this article, you can find more information by calling Greg Sabach at the RV-COG. His number is 541-423-1370.