Colorado

Sep 6, 2009 7:05 AM by Associated Press

Fed study pinpoints Fountain Creek E. coli source

After years of unexplained, random jumps in the levels of bacteria in Fountain Creek, federal officials believe they've found the likely culprit: pigeons.

Researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey examined a 12-mile stretch of the creek and found high levels of E. Coli below Manitou Springs. Researchers tested to see if the E. Coli came from livestock, deer, pets and human waste, which has been under suspicion for years following sewage spills in Colorado Springs and a leaky system in Manitou Springs.

USGS hydrologist David Mau says testing eliminated those possibilities leaving birds, particularly pigeons in Manitou Springs, as the likely source. A public meeting on the results is scheduled in Colorado Springs on Wednesday.

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