Neuse River tests positive for high levels of fecal bacteria

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Falls Lake and the Neuse River are great spots to go in the heat, but many people don’t think about the water quality before they go. 

This week, a water sample taken at upper Neuse River off Buffaloe Road showed high levels of fecal bacteria.

Sound Rivers, a nonprofit organization, started doing the testing this summer for the first time. 

“It’s important for people to know what the quality of their river is,” said Matthew Starr, upper Neuse River Keeper. 

Starr said there are six testing sites on Falls Lake and five on the Neuse River. They test weekly for fecal bacteria.

“There’s a very serious health risk. There’s very serious health problems, gastrointestinal problems that come with exposure to E. Coli.”

The testing results are on their website SoundRivers.Org every week. The public can read the site testing summaries and see on a map how different sections of the river and lake tested. 

People can also sign up for text alerts.

“Giving people that information is key,” Starr said.

The organization said heavy rain can also lead to higher levels of fecal bacteria in the water, so you may want to avoid going right after a storm.

Since they’re a nonprofit, the group said they can’t post signs at the river entrances about what they discover in the water testing.

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