"When you have E. coli, you have fecal contamination," said Donna Francy, a hydrologist for the U.S. Geological Survey's district office.
"E. coli doesn't grow in temperate weather, it's from a warm-blooded animal."
Another theory is that breakwalls are blocking the flow of water and allowing contaminants to build up, but officials disagree on whether that is actually happening.
The Geological Survey has been working with the city's health department and the Ohio Department of Health
and hopes to develop a model for predicting E. coli levels, Francy
said.The Geological Survey, a branch of the U.S. Department of the Interior, began testing water in late May with the help of intern Paula Carver of Lorain, a biology major at Bowling Green State University, Francy said.
The Geological Survey ended its water testing and research of on Friday, and it hasn't ruled out the possibility of excessive amounts of wastewater runoff coming from somewhere west of Lorain, Francy
The Geological Survey still doesn't have any concrete answers of what is causing the high E. coli levels, and plans to resume its water sampling and research in May 2005, Francy
"It's quite puzzling," Francy
"We have gathered our information such as looking at weather data, bird counts on the beaches and are taking the breakwalls into consideration," Francy
added."We have a whole summer's worth of information.It will take about a month to analyze it.We're not sure if the high E. coli levels are being caused by animals or humans, or if it's from wastewater runoff."Francy
office plans to meet with the Lorain Health Department
sometime in the fall, and hopes to have some answers.
The Geological Survey also has studied water samples and conditions at Lakeshore Beach in Ashtabula this year, and for several years, has studied water and the beaches at Edgewater Beach on Cleveland's west side and Villa Angela Beach on Cleveland's east side.
All of those beaches have breakwalls similar to Lakeview Beach, and the large amounts of birds on the beach this year, very well could be a major contributing factor to the E. coli problem accumulating on the breakwalls, Francy