TAHLEQUAH, Oklahoma - Tahlequah officials are recommending people stay out of Town Branch Creek after testing showed very high levels of E Coli.

Officials believe Wednesday's rain caused a significant spike in the bacterium. Planning and Development Director Clinton Johnson said Jahna Hill, stormwater manager tested on June 20 and results were received that showed a major increase compared to previous months’ testing.

“During our monthly testing of Town Branch Creek, E. coli results indicated an increased number not recommended for recreational use,” said Johnson. “Until further notice, and more testing results are received, it’s suggested that humans and pets do not partake in recreational activities in the creek.”

Regular testing will continue until the levels decrease. 

The creek’s headwaters begin near the Methodist Home and run through to the Illinois River. Several City parks including Sequoyah, Ross, and Felts Parks have access to the creek.

The City of Tahlequah will update as soon as new numbers are calculated. They’re expected to be in on June 23 around 5 p.m. Check back on the City’s Facebook page as well as other media outlets for updated information.