Missouri DNR warns of bacteria risk in floodwaters

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Missouri environmental officials are warning of increased levels of bacteria in flooded rivers and streams.

The Department of Natural Resources says land between rivers and levees is prime habitat for birds and animals. That means floodwaters pick up more bacteria when they wash over their banks.

Bacteria in flooded waterways also may rise from wastewater treatment plants. For example, the rising Missouri River caused a sewer backup in Kansas last week, sending untreated sewage into the river.

DNR Director Mark Templeton advises people to stay out of flooded rivers and avoid standing water immediately after a flood.