Testing of Mill Creek Park waters continues

mill creek park, youngstown, ohio water testing locations
Mill Creek Park will be testing Lake Newport's water for E. Coli weekly at the above locations until some time in October.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – This week is the third of water testing at Mill Creek MetroParks.

The Mahoning County District Board of Health took samples again yesterday, at three different spots on Lake Newport.

They expect to release the results Thursday before 5 p.m.

The board began testing Mill Creek Park’s waters in the wake of a sewage runoff that killed a number of fish in Lake Newport.

Heavy June rains forced water from the Youngstown city sewer system to flood into Lake Newport in Mill Creek Park. That water led to fish dying, with many of their carcasses floating to the lake’s surface.

That fish kill was the first indication of trouble at the park’s lakes.

WKBN had the water independently tested, and a YSU professor analyzed the results, saying that the level of fecal coliform bacteria in the water was almost 10 times what it should be. A day after publishing those results, Mill Creek Park closed all its lakes indefinitely.

While the sewer outflows from the city of Youngstown are playing a part in the pollution, Mill Creek Park Executive Director Aaron Young said it’s only one part of the puzzle that has to be solved.

“It is a much wider problem than just what is happening at the lakes,” Young said.

Streams across the Valley collect pollutants from fields and people’s yards, which eventually make their way into Lake Erie or the Ohio River.

WKBN has talked with coordinators at the Columbiana Soil and Water Conservation, who say runoff from people’s yards in Mahoning or Trumbull County eventually flows downstream, and could impact people living in Columbiana County.

You can help prevent contamination by limiting the use of fertilizers on your lawn and clean up after pets.

WKBN has collected a number of tips for eliminating water pollution in our Keep It Clean initiative.

This is a developing story. Check back here and watch WKBN 27 First News at 5 and 6 for the test results.

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