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Sacramento rivers experience rise in E-Coli bacteria

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (NBC, KYMA/KECY) - E-Coli bacteria levels are rising in rivers in Sacramento county, but officials say it is still okay to swim.

Every week, the Sacramento and American Rivers are put to the test, testing for E-Coli bacteria levels, which are going up.

"That is concerning that it's elevated," said Allison Reed, a jet skier.

The testers work under the State Water Resources Control Board and keep track of the E-Coli bacteria levels for the county.

"There is E-Coli out there that we are monitoring it, and for everyone to stay safe while they are out on our rivers," said Elizabeth Zelidon with Sacramento County Public Health.

According to Sacramento County monitoring data, it says to use caution with the higher bacteria levels.

The numbers are well over the threshold of 320 MPN, which means most probable number.

On June 3, the levels tested around above average numbers at 686 MPN. Then, it jumped back up on July 2, coming in at just over 1,400.

"Increased levels do not necessarily equate to increased exposures or risks for swimmers, and we're generally okay right now. We haven't had any water-related inllness from our rivers in Sac County," Zelidon shared.

Sacramento County posts signs all year round alerting folks that E-Coli may be present in the rivers, but some swimmers say they'd like to see updated signs warning them of the higher bacteria levels.

Greg Bradley says he doesn't take any chances at the river adding, "It makes me kinda not want to go swimming, but I already paid for it, so I'm just going to go knee deep."

When asked if anyone from the Public Health Department or the county swim in the river, Zelidon said, "We have not told anyone not to swim in the river and we have been out there. I would say, 'Yes.'"

Article Topic Follows: California News

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