The Butler County General Health District and the city of Hamilton Health Department are advising people to not enter or fish in the Great Miami River downstream of Oxford State Road. A statement will be issued when the advisory is lifted, they said.
“There are increased health risks associated with coming into contact with wastewater,” according to a joint statement. “Parasites, viruses and bacteria can cause a range of conditions including diarrhea, dysentery, gastroenteritis and hepatitis A.”
The health districts are advising people to seek medical care if they experience bloody diarrhea or if their diarrhea isn’t improving after three days; diarrhea is accompanied by fever or chills; or they are dehydrated.
“But some strains can cause diarrhea if you eat contaminated food or drink fouled water,” according to the website.
The waste issue, which was on Oxford State Road, has been contained, was noticed as city employees test the water leaving the plant headed toward the river, Beadle said.
“That’s when they noticed the spike,” she said. “(The effluent discharge is) at normal levels now.”
LOCAL NEWS: Butler County Fair adds more features for 2020, including the demolition derby
The city’s drinking water was never impacted by the E.coli discharge because it was contained to the river, but it will impact downstream communities along the river.
The issue was reported to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, and that agency notified river communities.
“Middletown officials have notified Ohio EPA that they are having issues with high E.coli levels in the effluent from the city’s wastewater treatment plant,” said Ohio EPA spokeswoman Dina Pierce. “The city is working to identify the cause and resolve the issue. Ohio EPA has offered technical assistance and instructed the city to notify local health departments. Additionally, Ohio EPA drinking water staff has notified downstream drinking water systems along the river.”