City closing Town Branch Creek access points
TAHLEQUAH – City officials are issuing a beach closure for all access points of Town Branch Creek. Signage is posted at its two most frequented recreational areas in Sequoyah and Felts parks because of high levels of E. coli.
Numbers tested this week at both locations were between 249 and 435 E. coli colony forming units, according to Cherokee Nation testing.
“We’ve increased monitoring locations and frequency of sampling in hopes to identify unknown sources of contamination. And until sampling results decrease, we’re recommending that residents refrain from entering the waters with open wounds, cuts or abrasions and as always never ingest the water,” said Planning and Development Director Clinton Johnson.
According to the Stormwater Management program, to be within normal range for recreational activity results should be below 126 CFUs and beach enclosures are recommended to be under 236 CFUs based off Oklahoma regulations.
Advisory signage stating do not enter the creek is posted at the typical recreational locations along the creek. City officials will continue to test regularly with results made public as soon as possible.
“We don’t want to put a damper on your holiday weekend, but it’s important to us at the City of Tahlequah that we do our best to keep our residents informed and safe from this possible exposure within Town Branch Creek,” Jami Murphy, public relations specialist, said. “Residents are welcome to visit our city pool opening at noon on May 24 for a small entry fee or the splash pad which opens at 10 a.m. on May 25. The splash pad is free.”