Water in the Ted Trueblood Wildlife Management Area is contaminated with fecal coliform and E. coli bacteria that exceeds the EPA's acceptable levels.
In a release today, the Bureau of Land Management warned the public not to ingest the water due to the contamination, which may be the result of the presence of human or animal wastes. The Ted Trueblood area is in the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area, which is located between Boise and Mountain Home.
The release is careful not to place blame, stating only that "BLM is meeting with Idaho Department of Environmental Quality and the EPA to determine what additional actions are needed to identify the source of the contamination and remediation."
In June, the EPA ordered the Simplot Cattle Feeding Company to change the stock watering system at its Grandview feedlot complex to prevent further contamination discharges into the Snake River, citing the Trueblood area specifically. From that order:
Today’s Order stems from Simplot's use of a constant flow stock watering system. When not used for irrigation (usually from November to March), a portion of this water is diverted to pasture, irrigation ditches, or into the Ted Trueblood Wildlife Refuge, all of which ultimately flow into the Snake River. Simplot water samples pulled from the facility’s discharge were shown to contain 1,600 colonies of fecal bacteria per 100 ml. of sample.