Neely Henry Lake Water Testing

The Neely Henry Lake Association is conducting sampling and analyses for Escherichia coli (E. coli) throughout the summer months. The goal is to establish a summertime baseline for E. coli (in various areas of the reservoir) as one important parameter of overall water quality.

E. Coli is a type of fecal coliform bacteria that comes from the digestive systems of warm-blooded animals, including humans. It is used throughout this country (and most of the world) as an indicator organism because it is relatively easy to culture/identify and its presence in water indicates that there is a possibility that other disease causing (pathogenic) bacteria, viruses and protozoans may be present.

E. Coli is present in almost all freshwater rivers, lakes or streams and can enter freshwater ecosystems in a variety of ways including:

  • Malfunctioning septic tanks and sewage systems etc.
  • Livestock located near the water.
  • Birds that live in or near the water and many other warm-blooded animals that use the water as a resource.
  • Run off from land or storm water drains that flush waste into the river system.

Test Results

Please review the E. Colibacteria results from samples taken from Neely Henry reservoir below. The samples were placed in sterile bottles and analyzed at a state certified bacteriological laboratory.

These numbers are expressed as Most Probable Number (MPN) per 100 milliliters of water and were the result of a single sample taken at each location.

For reference, please review the table immediately following the results for Alabama’s acceptable bacterial levels according to ADEM.

June 29, 2023

  1. Rainbow City Boat Launch / Marina: <1
  2. Southside BoatLaunch/ Marina: 3.1
  3. Canoe Creek below 411 bridge: <1
  4. St. Clair County Boat Launch: <1

May 31, 2023

  1. Jack L. Ray Park: 18.9
  2. Rainbow City Boat Launch / Marina: 38.8
  3. Canoe Creek below 411 bridge: 186.0
  4. Ten Island Park:5.2

These E. coli results only reflect the concentration of E. coli in the water at the date and time of the sample. E. Coli concentration in the water can fluctuate for a variety of reasons. (It is important to note that E. coli can increase significantly in a body of water after a major rainfall event).

* For more information regarding the meaning of these numbers, please review the attached chart involving Alabama’s Bacteria Criteria. If you have questions, please contact the Neely Henry Lake Association at 256-368-5200.

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