Officials investigate why coliform bacteria levels in wastewater plant were high

(KCBY image)

COOS BAY, Ore. -- Concern over high fecal coliform bacteria levels are over in Coos Bay.

That's good news after the city got alarming test results from a wastewater treatment plant.

The plant located on Fulton Avenue had a high count of the bacteria.

Officials say when the fecal bacteria are killed, so are the pathogens. But last week's test determined the plant will exceed the monthly fecal coliform limit.

Due to the potential for harming human health and the environment, the situation was reported to the state, which flew officials in to assess the situation.

"Over the weekend they changed the process and come Monday, we had normal counts, so the plant is back to operating correctly,” said Coos Bay wastewater project plant engineer Jennifer Wirsing. “Now what we have is people looking at why that plant was upset…what happened to the plant. Right now, we don't know."

The City is building a new treatment plant to replace the plant on Fulton Avenue.

According to the city, the new plant will have greater capacity and newer wastewater technology for processing and disinfection.

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