New testing in Fort Myers fecal-filled creek to determine its source

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Crews are conducting new tests this week in Billy’s Creek to determine the source of high levels of fecal bacteria, according to the City of Fort Myers.

The city was already spending $100,000 a year on the creek’s testing and maintenance. This year, the city will be receiving an additional $775,000 in state funding to help with dredging and restoration.

More: High bacteria level pose health risk in Billy’s Creek

John Cassani, of Calusa Waterkeeper, wants to see more “No Swimming” signs posted near the creek. He would like for the signs to be clearly visible and inform people it’s a public health risk.

“We got people recreating on the creek who may not know why they shouldn’t go in the water or contact the water, and it’s important they know that. So, signing is just critical,” Cassani said.

Lee County commissioner Frank Mann said they’re working with the city to get the job done.

“My father learned to swim in Billy’s Creek, so I have a personal stake in making sure the next generation swims in Billy’s Creek,” Mann said. “We want our citizens to enjoy it and enjoy it safely, and we’re not going to rest until it is indeed very safe.”

The city hopes to learn whether the bacteria is coming from humans or pets from the testing. It’s also believed Hurricane Irma contributed to the mess.

The city is expected to do another round of testing in the fall.

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