High levels of fecal bacteria found in Buffaloe Road Canoe Launch for second week in a row

Saturday, July 20, 2019
EMBED <>More Videos

High levels of fecal bacteria found in Buffaloe Road Canoe Launch for second week in a row

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- For the second week in a row, Sound Rivers, a nonprofit organization that tests river water, found high levels of fecal bacteria at the Buffaloe Road Canoe Launch.

"We are concerned about what might be going on in this area, as far as why we see high levels of E. coli bacteria in the water," said Laurel Holloman, of Sound Rivers.

She said it's above EPA water quality standards.

"We're not a regulatory body," Holloman said. "We don't do any closings of any of these public access sites but we do recommend that people use caution when swimming, boating, fishing and what not, in this area. Maybe choose a different site this weekend to use."

Sound Rivers tests water at 11 sites in the Raleigh area every week--six on Falls Lake and five on the Neuse River.

Holloman said storm water runoff going into the river likely contains pet and wildlife waste, or there could even be a septic leak in the area.

There's an increased risk of skin infections and gastrointestinal illness, Sound Rivers said.

Employees from Lynch Mykins Structural Engineers in Raleigh went tubing on the Neuse River Friday as part of a company outing. They started and ended at the Buffaloe Road Canoe Launch and didn't realize they were floating in contaminated water.

"Well, I don't think it's great," Dez Joslin said. "In my opinion, it's really hard to be in a river that's totally clean so you're kind of taking a risk whenever you're in a body of water."

"We're pretty healthy people," said Bryan Covington. "I feel we got good immune systems. So I think we'll be OK."

Covington said he's going back into the river Saturday.

"We've always done this for years now," Covington said. "It's a great river to canoe and raft on."