High levels of E. coli found in McKellar Lake after sewage leak, advisory issued

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Extremely high levels of E. coli have been found in McKellar Lake after a sewer line broke and millions of gallons of sewage leaked out, according to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

TDEC issued a temporary Water Contact Advisory for the lake and the lower part of Cypress Creek after the new findings.

“This is a very serious situation and any bodily contact to the water is dangerous,” said Shari Meghreblian, the TDEC deputy commissioner for the Bureau of Environment.

Water sample results showed E. coli levels in much of McKellar Lake are up to 300 times the recreational criteria for streams and up to 580 times the recreational criteria for lakes, according to TDEC. Areas of the lake east, south and west of Treasure Island are especially affected.

TDEC’s Division of Water Resources has been at the lake to monitor the water quality and oversee the work to fix it.

More than 10,000 fish have died due to the leak.

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