E. coli levels high in part of Lake Monticello
FLUVANNA COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- E. coli levels are too high to swim in one area of Lake Monticello, and community leaders are blasting water utility company Aqua Virginia after a recent storm sewer overflow leaked into the lake.
“Negligence” and “A risk to public health” are just some of the scathing allegations against Aqua Virginia in a letter to the company sent by the Lake Monticello Owners Association President Larry Henson.
"Lake Monticello Owners Association, or LMOA, they are still advising that no one can swim in Jackson Cove,” said Heather Keefer, spokesperson for Aqua.
It all started July 10 when a water test was taken at the lake.
Results came back showing E. coli levels four times higher than the recommended levels for safe swimming in Jackson Cove, according to one member of the association.
The LMOA says it could have been caused by storm sewer overflow.
But Keefer said that happened July 14, four days after the tests were taken.
Lake leaders say this isn't the first time part of the lake has had high E. coli levels. Henson cited a similar overflow from 11 months ago in his letter.
In the letter, there was also a demand for a solution to the E. coli problem, and the blame was on Aqua for not maintaining its infrastructure at the lake:
"Aqua Virginia has failed to manage its infrastructure in the Lake Monticello Homeowners Association Community resulting in health hazards to our residents and polluting our lake environment."
Keefer said Aqua is working with lake leaders to identify and fix the problem.
"We are trying to figure that out,” said Keefer. "We understand their concerns and we don't know where the problem is coming from."
In a statement, Henson wrote they're now working with the county, the State Corporation Commission, the Department of Environmental Quality and the Department of Health to help fix the E. coli contamination.