Cattaraugus County Health Department warns of possible health risk in Allegheny River

Chautauqua County

ALLEGANY, N.Y. (WIVB)– The Cattaraugus County Health Department says there are high fecal bacterial counts in the Allegheny River due to untreated sewage discharge into the river from the South 4th Street pump station on August 6 and 7.

The health department recommends people avoid recreational use of the river downstream from the South 4th Street pump station to South 1st Street in the village of Allegany until testing can confirm the safety of the water and fecal counts return to safe levels.

Using river water to water lawns or gardens and allowing dogs to swim in the river may also be a potential human health risk, according to officials.

Exposure to the untreated sewage could result in diarrheal illnesses and vomiting, as well as viral infections such as Hepatitis A.

The health department says they will continue to sample and monitor the river and update the public when recreational activities can safely resume.

Activites people should avoid include:

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

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