5 more businesses get Ohio EPA orders
PUT-IN-BAY, Ohio (AP) -- The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency told five more businesses Monday that they need to stop using water from their wells after each tested positive for bacteria.
Investigators have tested 18 wells that provide water to businesses as they try to determine the source of an outbreak of gastrointestinal illnesses on Lake Erie's South Bass Island.
In all, 10 businesses have been ordered to stop using their wells, said Heidi Griesmer, an EPA spokeswoman. The water systems either tested positive for E. coli or showed evidence of total coliform, which could signal the presence of other bacteria. The orders are precautionary, and more testing is taking place, Griesmer said.
The Ohio Department of Health said Monday that investigators have talked with 1,182 people who say they fell ill after visiting the island and the surrounding area, which is about halfway between Toledo and Cleveland.
The department has tested a handful of samples from those who say they suffered from chills, fever, diarrhea and vomiting.
The most recent sample taken from someone who was sick Friday tested positive for a bacterial infection, the department said. None has come back with E. coli.