Water-Related News

Group fights to warn public of polluted Billy's Creek's health dangers

Billy's Creek is alarmingly polluted, but nowhere along its 5-mile stretch are people cautioned that even touching its waters could make them sick.

Running past more than 1,000 homes and two public parks in some of Fort Myers' and Lee County's poorest neighborhoods as it makes its way to the Caloosahatchee, the creek's levels of enterococci bacteria consistently exceed government safety levels — and have since 2001.

Those bacteria indicate feces from humans or animals, and agencies have threshold danger levels. Looking at some 17 years of testing data, one site on the creek grossly exceeds that danger threshold 93 percent of the time

Yet the creek has never been been officially declared polluted, nor has any agency or government taken formal responsibility for sounding the alarm about its health risks.