Water-Related News

Billy Creek test results point to birds and dogs as sources of bacteria

FORT MYERS – The City has been investigating bacteria levels in Billy Creek, most recently testing for the origins of the Enterococci (fecal) bacteria using DNA sampling. Samples were taken on April 17, 2018 and sent to Source Molecular in Miami for evaluation.

The results indicate no human or ruminant DNA in any of the water samples collected at the four sample locations. Low concentrations of bird DNA were found in the sample collected at the downstream of the Ford Street Preserve. These were the only locations that found any of the DNA markers. The testing results indicate that the bulk of the bacteria found in samples may be from a vegetative source.

The highest readings are from the Ford Street Preserve, which did have a non-quantified detection of dog DNA. Studies have shown that dog waste contains approximately four times the bacteria that human waste contains; this may be part of the reason that bacteria levels at this location are higher than other discharges.

The City will continue studying monitoring reports to see if bacteria levels continue to reduce over time.