Crawford Park under contamination advisory

Park still open to public

SYLVAN TWP. -- Crawford Park on the Muskegon River in Sylvan Township is under a contamination advisory due to high levels of E.coli found in the water, according to information from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

Central Michigan Health Department director of environmental health, Steve King, said water tests done June 23 showed a dangerously high rate of contamination, which prompted the advisory.

"Test results from June 23 came back high, after an inch and a half of rainfall," King said. "On June 25, we tested again, and they were still high, so we posted the advisory. Usually with numbers over 300, we advice no full body contact with the water. If they are over 1000, we advice no partial contact.

"Typically, after a heavy rainfall, we will advise against full body contact in the water for 24 hours, anyway," he added.

According to King, it is impossible to pinpoint exactly what the source of the contamination is, but it is likely due to runoff from the Muskegon River watershed.

King said tests ran June 30 showed the numbers were within an acceptable range, but the advisory would remain in place until subsequent testing continued to show the numbers to be in the acceptable range.

"If the numbers remain low, then the advisory can be lifted," he said. "We will be testing weekly to see if the numbers continue to go down."

Even though the health department is advising against full body contact, the water is still safe for fishing and boating activities, King said.