October 5th, 2009 7:49 AM by Mike and Susie Berra
There has been a lot of media press lately on E-coli at the Lake. Here are some facts I obtained from a biologist from the State of Missouri.
E-coli is in all natural bodies of water. It is a bacteria that is found in the feces of "warm blooded" creatures. That would include men, women, children, dogs, cats, ducks, geese, fox, groundhogs, beaver, cows, horses, hogs, deer, bear and many other living species. As you know, many of these "warm blooded" creatures relieve themselves in the great outdoors and many of them can be found in abundance near the Lake of the Ozarks. Let's say that these creatures were frequenting a certain area. After they took care of business, there were several days of heavy rains. Much of this waste matter will end up being washed into the Lake. Obviously, levels of e-coli would be elevated at these locations. This takes place not just in the Lake of the Ozarks, but Truman Lake, Pomme De Terre Lake, Mark Twain Lake, Kentucky Lake, etc. E-coli bacteria can only survive in the warmest of water and temperatures. Cool weather/water will kill the e-coli. Although you can get sick, there are very few, if any, reported cases of illness from e-coli.
There is nothing that can be done about e-coli in the lake from nature taking it's course. But proper monitoring of wastewater systems by DNR, and replacement of old septic tanks, can have a positive effect on reducing the amount of e-coli in the Lake.
This is not something new. It is something being publicized.