BRADENTON -- The city of Bradenton on Friday released the first results taken of the Manatee River after a raw sewage spill earlier this week.
The results confirm what officials have been saying: The river near the pipe that dumped the muck into the water may be unsafe for fishing, swimming and other recreational activities because of high amounts of fecal coliforms.
The spill occurred Tuesday after a pipe at the city's waste water treatment plant burst and sent raw sewage into storm drains that lead to the river.
At 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, 13 hours after the spill was stopped, the city conducted the first of what it says will be daily tests until the river is again considered safe.
The tests, which were conducted at 10 sites both upriver and downriver from where the sewage entered the water, confirm that the closer to the pipe, the more contamination remained.
According to the results, area where coliform levels suggest it may be unsafe for swimming are:
-- 200 feet east of railroad bridge, at Fifth Street West.-- 100 feet west of railroad bridge, at Sixth Street West.-- At sewage discharge point, at Seventh Street West.-- 300 feet east of Green Bridge, at Eighth Street West.-- East side of Green Bridge, at Ninth Street West.-- West side of Green Bridge, at Ninth Street West.
"The city is continuing to sample the river at these locations on a daily basis and will continue to issue water quality results until all samples meet state standards," a news release states.
The Florida Department of Health and the Department of Environmental Protection asked the city Thursday to expand its water quality tests to include levels of dissolved oxygen and conductivity, in addition to the coliform counts.