Fecal Contamination Level is High in Billy’s Creek

by | Aug 17, 2020 | Press

Originally published by WINK News on August 17, 2020

The latest tests from Calusa Waterkeepers shows that contamination levels caused by fecal bacteria in Billy Creek remain high.

Neil Wilkinson is a retired FGCU professor who has lived along Billy Creek in Fort Myers for 16 years.

“For as long as I’ve lived there, the water quality has not been good,” Wilkinson said.

But after recent test results, he’d like to see it cleaned up.

“The water flows down into the marine environment of which I would say that ecosystem touches all bases of our economy,” Wilkinson said.

Billy Creek flows into the Caloosahatchee River.

So far, he says, alerting people hasn’t been a very high priority. “There has not been a big effort to let people who live there know that. It’s really only recently it’s come out, not recently, the last couple years, that there’s a serious problem.”

For the Calusa Waterkeepers, that’s their job: to keep monitoring Billy Creek and figuring out how to keep it clean. But also, getting the word out.

In June, WINK News joined Calusa Waterkeepers during their testing when they were attempting to trace the source of the fecal bacteria in Billy Creek.

“We’ve seen this level of contamination for 20 years in Billy’s Creek,” said John Cassani, with Calusa Waterkeepers.

New numbers from this weekend confirm that the levels are still high and that it is likely a sewage issue.

“We look at what’s going on on the landscape and there’s very few septic tanks in the Billy’s Creek basin, so we’re more suspect of leaky sewage lines leaking into the groundwater,” Cassani explained.

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