Creek's bacterial levels OK with health officials
High fecal coliform levels at outflow from East Royalty sewage lagoon
Bacterial levels in Wright's Creek from the near-capacity East Royalty sewage lagoon don't concern P.E.I.'s health officials.
Last week, CBC News reported there are some high fecal coliform counts in the outflow from the lagoon, which flows into Wright's Creek, an area where people catch fish.
The Department of Environment investigated and one sample of the outflow came back at a reading at 35,000 MPN per 100 millilitres. (That means, 35,000 is the most probable number of fecal colonies per 100 millilitres of the outflow water from the lagoon.)
Acceptable levels for the Charlottetown sewage treatment plant are between 200 and 400 MPN. But the province doesn't set a limit on the lagoon, the way it does the treatment plant. Those limits will likely start after the East Royalty lagoon is upgraded -- work expected to start next year.
Another sample taken a short distance downstream in the water of Wright's Creek came back at 240 MPN.
Health regulations for PEI set a limit of 200 MPN in water where people swim because of the risk of swallowing water.
Still, Dr. Lamont Sweet, deputy chief health officer, doesn't believe there is cause for concern.
"If a sample was above 400 then that's a concern. And all of the samples that were taken in the area, the average was 100, so that's ... it's acceptable," said Sweet.
People fishing in Wright's Creek should wash their hands afterward and make sure they gut, clean and cook the fish properly.