GEORGETOWN, Ky. (WKYT) - Memorial Day weekend is a popular time to be on - or in - the water. But if you're in Georgetown, you still need to hold off. That is the word of warning from emergency management officials after 100,000 gallons of sewage spilled into North Elkhorn Creek on Saturday.
Michael Hennigan, director of Georgetown-Scott County Emergency Management, said the situation could have been much worse when they went back out on Sunday to check.
"With the temperatures the way they are, we were afraid that we were going to start getting some sort of stagnation in the creek, or worse, a wildlife effect, and we're not seeing any of that," Hennigan told WKYT's Garrett Wymer on Sunday. "We found no unusual conditions. The fish are acting normally - the minnows are fine, the bigger fish are good. There's no sheen on the creek. So we're assuming that the creek has absorbed the sewage spill to the best it can."
Crews have been out surveying the creek at different boat ramps and other places as they monitored the water conditions. They said there is not much else they could do with such a large volume of water. Results of those lab tests came back positive Sunday. Officials said that Elkhorn Creek will remain closed Monday. Boat ramps and other water access points closed when the sewage leak began Saturday behind Dover Manor.
Emergency management officials said they still do not know exactly why this happened, although it happened near a construction site, so it is possible a piece of equipment broke open the pipe. Officials say they are thankful that right now there does not appear to be too much of an impact.
"The volume of water that this was released into made it pretty dilute right from the beginning," Hennigan said. "We're just airing on the side of caution, making sure there's not any E. coli levels or anything in the creek."
Bob Larkin went to Oser Landing on Sunday morning to check out the creek. He had even brought his canoe, hoping to make sure the path is clear before he hosts The Great Elkhorn Creek Trash Bash, a big river clean-up event next weekend.
"The creek is ever-changing. We generally have enough issues just dealing with the trash. But it is what it is," Larkin said. "We'll have a couple hundred people out here on the water, and their safety is the most important thing."
Folks in Franklin County are also keeping an eye on the situation. Canoe Kentucky posted on Facebook that they are in contact with emergency management officials to figure out what impact the leak could have there, and when. They say for now they plan to stay open the rest of the weekend.