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EPA orders huge manure pile clean-up after 45 triathletes sickened in Oklahoma City triathlon

Posted Jul 16 2009 10:03pm

River-city As you may recall at least 45 triathletes got sick with severe gastrointestinal problems in May after participating in the Boathouse International Triathlon in Oklahoma City which had the athletes swim in the Oklahoma River.

Health department officials investigated and found that the level of bacteria has spiked because of heavy rains prior to the race.

Today we learned that the Environmental Protection Agency has ordered two companies to correct problems that could cause manure from nearby stockyards to flow into the river.

According to the AP:

"The EPA issued cease and desist orders to Murphy Products and the Oklahoma National Stockyards Co. for violating the federal Clean Water Act, EPA spokesman Dave Bary said Wednesday. They were given 30 days to report back on how they have solved the issue."

"We did not observe any actual discharges," Bary said. "But our inspectors certainly felt that the potential existed, particularly in a heavy rain, for water from the manure piles to run directly into the river."

"Murphy Products maintains huge piles of compost, including cattle manure, on land owned by the stockyards about 200 feet from the Oklahoma River," the AP went on to report.

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