Grand River Flood Water Tested For High E. Coli Levels In Lowell

Posted at 6:15 PM, Apr 25, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-25 18:15:10-04

LOWELL, Mich. — The Kent County Health Department took three samples from three different spots in the Grand River in Lowell on Wednesday – checking for elevated E. coli levels after the flooding of the past week.

A “no body contact” order is still in effect for the river’s entire stretch because of the dangers of potential water-born illnesses.

13:38 “Chances are you’re gonna get diarrhea and vomiting – the outcomes of E. Coli poisoning,” Kent County Health Department sanitarian Sara Simmonds says.

Lowell is an ideal testing site for the entire river.

“We’re at, more or less, the point of entry where the Grand River enters Kent County,” Simmonds says, “so it gives you an indicator of what the water quality is as it moves through our county.”

FOX 17 testing of the river earlier in the week found E. coli colonies of 900, 1,300, and 10,000 in Grandville, Grand Rapids, and Walker, respectively.

And it could be more than just E. coli in the water.

“The test that we’re running today is an E. coli sample,” Simmonds says, “but it’s also an indicator of other organisms, pathogens that could be in the water that could make people very sick.”

Test results will come sometime Friday.