Fifty-nine of 74 private water wells in Locust Grove, Okla., have tested positive for total coliform bacteria, a group of bacteria that indicate environmental pollution.
Additionally, 17 of those 59 wells tested positive for E. coli, the state’s Department of Environmental Quality said Feb. 25.
The results come a week after the DEQ tested the wells within a five-mile radius of the northeastern Oklahoma town for possible contamination.
The DEQ acted on information from Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson’s office suggesting a deadly E. coli outbreak in the town last summer could have been the result of pollution from poultry farms.
The unsolved outbreak that killed one man and sickened hundreds more occured at the Country Cottage restaurant.
Earlier this month, Edmondson released a report concluding that the well at the popular buffet eatery “is, and has been, contaminated with poultry waste and associated bacteria, including E. coli.”
The poultry industry has denied those claims.
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