When stream samples showed E. coli bacteria above what the federal standard allows, local and state officials in the Lower Eel River Watershed came together to look for reasons.
The Indiana Dept. of Environmental Management (IDEM) is ready to show residents its watershed improvement plan for Lower Eel River Watershed.
From 5-7 p.m. on Jan. 25, IDEM's watershed staff will share the draft plan and talk individually with citizens in the Community Room at First Financial Bank (formerly First State Bank) at 502 Main St. (S.R. 59), Clay City.
The draft plan is on the Web at
It includes a map of the watershed, which covers most of Clay County and extends into parts of Greene, Owen and Vigo counties.
IDEM will accept public comments about its draft plan through Feb. 14. Citizens may send their comments to Dan Knowles by fax at 317-232-8406, by e-mail at
or mail comments to Knowles at IDEM, Suite 1253, 100 N. Senate Ave., Indianapolis, IN, 46204.
IDEM routinely tests creeks and rivers for E. coli bacteria because high levels are common where water quality is poor. In these areas of poor water quality, watershed improvement plans help local businesses and citizens understand how their various activities could be contributing to the problem and guide them toward solutions.
IDEM oversees and implements federal and state regulations regarding the environment. IDEM issues permits and pursues appropriate action when violations occur that would harm the health of Indiana's air, land and water. Through incentive programs and outreach projects, the agency also encourages businesses and citizens to take actions every day to protect and improve Indiana's environment.