OLEAN, NY – Because last week’s untreated sewage discharge into the Allegheny River has caused high
Escherichia coli (E.coli) bacterial counts in the river, so people should avoid recreational use of the river downstream from Olean’s South Fourth Street pump station to South First Street in the Village of Allegany, the Cattaraugus County Health Department announced Wednesday.

Exposure to untreated sewage can cause diarrheal illnesses and vomiting, as well as viral infections such as Hepatitis A. Until bacterial counts return to safe levels and testing can confirm the safety of the water, the department recommends refraining from:

  • Swimming or wading,
  • Kayaking, floating, canoeing or tubing,
  • Fishing, and
  • Anything that would result in direct contact with the river water.

Irrigation of lawns or gardens with water from the river or allowing dogs to swim in the river may also pose a risk to human health.

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The county will continue to sample and monitor the river’s bacterial counts and update the public when recreational activities can be resumed safely.

For further information, contact: the county Health Department at 716-373-8050.

This story has been updated to reflect a revised press release issued by the Cattaraugus County Health Department.

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