Ecoli Levels Steady in Bayfield Waterways stock photo.

A study of E-coli levels in the Bayfield River and its tributaries has shown little change over the last five years. Ausable Bayfield Healthy Watershed Technician Brynn Wright explains the study was requested by the Bayfield Ratepayers Association to help them get the Blue Flag designation at the main beach and the marina. Wright told members of the ABCA board last week there a number of variables but the tributaries have higher numbers because they’re closer to the land and the source. But she adds wind and wave action can dramatically influence the numbers because E-coli can be present but not evident on the lake bottom and then stirred up on a windy day to produce higher courts. The study also pointed out things people can do to reduce runoff into the river and lake such as using rain barrels or rain gardens as well as stewardship practices related to farming that will hold water on the land a little longer after a heavy rainfall event.