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Swim Advisory

To view the map of area

waterways the department tested for E. Coli,

click here.

Having fun at your favorite swimming spot may be more dangerous than you think'

After testing 16 popular swimming sites around the county for E. Coli, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department has issued a swim advisory.

Beginning this spring, the department conducted tests every two weeks at the sites. The results varied greatly with some sites showing below normal levels of the bacteria and others showing high levels.

Clay Goddard is the environmental community health planner with the health department. He says it's unclear what caused these results but he says he has an educated guess. Goddard says the health department will continue testing because there is no data on E. coli in area streams other than the information collected this spring.

He says the complete lack of information about E. coli in area streams is one of the reasons the health department began testing for E. coli this year. He says given the mixed results, the health department wanted to err on the side of caution in issuing the swim advisory but also doesn't want to cause a panic.

The department is advising swimmers to consider the health department's test results before deciding to enter a body of water in Greene County. Goddard says the department is warning against entering the water at all.

Tate brown's three young sons are splashing around in a popular swimming spot that's part of the James River east of Springfield, off farm road 148.

News from the health department that their swimming hole may contain E. coli isn't enough to scare him off. With his oldest son, 9 year old Dakota floating on a green inner tube nearby, Tate brown says he'll continue to bring his kids to swim in the James River.

It's important to note that the mere presence of E. coli doesn't guarantee someone will contract an illness. Goddard says only a minority of strains are capable of causing illness.

To find out if your favorite swimming spot was one of the 16 tested for E. coli by the Springfield-Greene county health department, visit the k-s-m-u website'k-s-m-u dot org and click on the link for news.