E. coli reduction plan progresses in Nacogdoches’ Lanana and Banita Creeks

Published: Aug. 11, 2021 at 4:39 PM CDT
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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - This time of year, the Lanana and Banita Creeks running through Nacogdoches are low and slow. Other times, they can run rampant. No matter what level, scientists know e-coli levels in the Lanana Bayou Watershed exceed state standards.

“The simplest way to look at it is everything with hair, fur and feathers is a source of e-coli,” said Lucas Gregory, assistant director of the Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI).

TWRI reports the levels can be managed with proper education and conservation practices.

“Basically, the message we take to the audience is one that we need to think about what things we can do,” Gregory said. “Whether that be repairing or replacing failing septic systems or working on improving your wastewater infrastructure in towns.”

Other waste management practices include agriculture. Gregory commends the poultry industry in the watershed for following safe water practices.

“I would say that the poultry litter is not a significant source of this e-coli concentration,” said Gregory.

Feral hogs can be blamed.

“Quite likely,” said Gregory. “They certainly like to hang out in the creek bottom.”

Scientists say hiking and biking along the creeks are perfectly safe. Wading is riskier for humans and pets. Any

Water contact should be followed by washing of the skin.

SFA hydrology students under the guidance of Dr. Matthew McBroom, associate dean of Arthur Temple College of Forestry & Agriculture, routinely monitor bacteria levels in both creeks as a partner in the state’s Water Resources Institute study.

“Hopefully, we’ll be able to address this by getting citizens involved and engaged, landowners and others,” said McBroom.

Scientists have the data. Stakeholders facilitate solutions.

To follow study data go to: https://twri.tamu.edu/our-work/restoring-protecting/neches-river-basin/la-nana-bayou-watershed/

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