LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Don't go near the water.
You've heard that before. You may want to heed that warning when it comes to our latest WAVE 3 News investigation.
On May 21, 2014, I videotaped what looks like human feces bobbing in and blanketing Harrod's Creek, from the Sleepy Hollow Lake dam downstream as far as the eye could see.
I then obtained a report of all water pollution violations in Jefferson and Oldham Counties for 2013 and 2014 to date. Facilities managed by Oldham County Environmental Authority accounted for 27 violations. Inspectors noted things like "pockets of solids two inches deep" and "thick blankets of sludge one foot thick" in creeks below wastewater treatment plants.
It's a problem I've been following for years. State officials continue to say they are in settlement negotiations. Oldham County Environmental officials say they are shutting down troublesome plants, but obviously the problem remains.
I interviewed two infectious diseases specialists who said fecal matter in waterways can cause serious infections if it comes in contact with cuts or sores.
"Many of them will not be life-threatening, but probably many of them will require antibiotics or drainage procedures and occasionally, sometimes, could be life-threatening on a given individual," said Dr. Charles Woods.
"My first approach would be avoidance. Even if I liked or used that waterway for fishing or recreation or whatever, if you know there is frequent fecal contamination, I think you have to find another place," said Dr. Paul Schulz.
You'll see some disgusting video with some dangerous consequences tonight on WAVE 3 News at 11.