News Release 267

Natural Resources, Health departments to take additional water samples, inspect cove for E. coli at Lake of the Ozarks

Volume 39-267 (For Immediate Release)
For more information: 573-751-1010

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo., JULY 29, 2011 -- The Missouri departments of Natural Resources and Health and Senior Services will collect additional water quality samples and inspect Possum Hollow Cove in the Lake of the Ozarks following E. coli levels in excess of federal guidelines.

On May 23, the Lake of the Ozarks Watershed Alliance began a 20-week water quality monitoring project to address stormwater-related pollution affecting the Lake of the Ozarks. As part of the project, LOWA conducts weekly water quality sampling from coves located between mile markers 1-19. Sample results are then shared with both state agencies to take necessary action as needed. Results are also posted online at http://dnr.mo.gov/loz/loz-waterquality-study.htm.

Samples collected from Possum Hollow Cove on Monday, July 25, found three of the four samples exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended maximum level for swimming areas of 235 E. coli colonies per 100 milliliters of water. Sample results ranged from 99.0 to 866.4 E. coli colonies per 100 milliliters of water. These results were received yesterday, July 28.

Staff from the Department of Natural Resources’ Southwest Regional Office will collect additional water quality samples and complete an inspection of the area to determine if there are observable discharges into the coves’ watershed that may be contributing to water quality issues.

Staff from the Department of Health and Senior Services will accompany the Department of Natural Resources to aid in the visual inspection. In addition, DHSS will distribute informational flyers to area residents. If residents are experiencing problems with their on-site sewage systems they are encouraged to contact the Morgan County Health Department for assistance.

The sample test results indicate a snap shot of the water quality taken at the cove at a specific time; however, a single sample does not provide an overall sense of the water quality in the lake. A total of nine coves are tested weekly as part of this water quality monitoring project. Sample results collected from the remaining eight coves were below federal guidelines.

Sample results from LOWA’s water quality monitoring project are available on the Department of Natural Resources’ website at http://dnr.mo.gov/loz/loz-waterquality-study.htm.

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