BEAVER COUNTY (KDKA) – Authorities say tests confirm a football field in Beaver County has fecal matter on it.

A fence surrounds the Darlington football field in Chippewa Township. The scoreboard scoreless and empty bleachers sit glistening in the sun. For decades the field had been home to the Blackhawk Cougars football team, and then came an environmental health and safety study. Those results were released a little more than a week ago.

What that study found was evidence of fecal bacteria on the football field.

“I played football, watched many football games there growing up,” Nathan Livingston said. “There is an odor. The sewage in Darlington isn’t the best.”

And there lies the problem. According to the school district’s website, Northwestern Field sits on the primary school property and directly above the facility’s more than 50-year-old sewage leach bed.

At times, the end zone of the field became swampy, and there was an odor of sewage. The test results revealed fecal coliforms detected in ten of the 24 samples. The district says there is no indication that the field poses a health risk, but it is closed out of an abundance of caution.

The Northwestern Primary School is temporarily vacated by the district, and the field has been replaced by a multipurpose athletic complex.

The new complex, still being built, is behind Blackhawk High School. It is expected to be ready for the fall sports season. If not, the district says it is developing a plan B.

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