Concerned grandma wishes Riverside would post signs warning of elevated E. coli levels in Line Creek

RIVERSIDE, Mo. -- A website warning about a dangerous bacteria in Line Creek has some concerned that more should be done to alert users of a popular trail that runs alongside the waterway.

Riverside has posted a warning on its website, but not anywhere near the water.

The city doesn't want people to wade or swim in Line Creek because there may be elevated levels of E. coli bacteria, which can make people sick.

"We do everything we can to discourage people from being in the water," said Mike Duffy, Riverside's community development director. "We allow the vegetative buffer to grow up. There’s a lot rock down adjacent to Renner Brenner Park and in E.H. Young Park. We really want to discourage people because it can be dangerous to walk down in the creek."

Unfortunately, one Kansas City woman says she saw the warning on the city's website, after her grandchildren had played along the Line Creek Trail during the holiday weekend, and waded into the water.

Alexa Thompson says she doesn't understand why both Kansas City and Riverside haven't posted signs along the trail warning people not to get in the water.

"If it’s not safe I get it, it’s a creek," Thompson said. "Post a sign that says you can’t get in. Or get the levels down. Figure out what the problem is, and put up on the website, the creek is now safe."

Riverside leaders say the warning is based on water sampling that's more than two years old, the latest data available to the city. Administrators want to get updated tests before determining if signs are necessary. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has advised Duffy that people can wade into Line Creek, but swimming is not recommended.

Riverside officials say any pond, lake or stream in Missouri has the potential to be contaminated. And they say people should always be a little cautious before getting in any body of water that's not chlorinated.