DNR board approves e. coil water regulations

Microscopic image of e. coli bacteria. (MGN)
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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The state Department of Natural Resources board has approved new regulations that change how the department measures bacterial contamination in water bodies.

Currently the DNR measures the amount of fecal coliform in water bodies to determine the level of contamination. The new regulations require the department to measure the amount of e. coli in the water to determine contamination levels. DNR officials say they must make the switch to remain eligible for federal grants for beach bacteria monitoring.

Wastewater plants will receive new permit requirements for e. coli levels. DNR officials believe 146 out of 356 plants may have increase disinfection efforts to comply but say financial assistance will be available.

The board approved the change on a unanimous voice vote during a meeting Wednesday.