Surging Central Texas streams, rivers could contain some nasty stuff

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WACO, Texas (KWTX) With several more days of rain ahead, Central Texas streams and rivers are swollen and full of debris you can see as well as some potentially nasty stuff you can’t.

Brazos River Authority Laboratory Manager Dr. Ahmed Kadry. (Photo by Ke'Sha Lopez)

Experts said debris and possible contaminants from upstream moved their way down.

Brazos River Authority Laboratory Manager Dr. Ahmed Kadry said bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella can wash into waterways along with such chemicals as pesticides and herbicides.

"There are a lot of ranches and agricultural land that border our streams and even the Brazos River itself and Leon River. All that so when it runs off, the secretions, the cow patties, the dog's poop, all of that gets washed into the stream. That's where the major source of bacteria would be."

Contaminated water could be harmful to the health of people who come into contact with it, especially those with open wounds, he said.

Young people, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems could be at a greater risk of health complications if they are infected with these bacteria.

The Brazos River Authority lab constantly tests water samples taken from numerous spots along the Brazos River and its tributaries.

Because possible biological and chemicals dangers lurk in floodwater, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration suggests that cleanup crews or people dealing with flood cleanup should protect themselves with gear such as goggles, gloves, and boots or waders and should make sure their tetanus vaccinations are up to date.

Washing hands and any area that has made contact with possibly contaminated water is also advised.

Kadry said, at this point, no unusually high amounts of contaminants have been detected.