JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality has reclassified small streams throughout the state to allow higher levels of E. coli bacteria.

E. coli originates in fecal matter from livestock and septic systems and can make people sick.

The Jackson Hole News & Guide reports (http://bit.ly/1MtIA8D ) a new Department of Environmental Quality plan assigns lower water quality standards for E. coli to some 88,000 miles of streams in Wyoming.

The streams have an average flow rate of less than 6 cubic feet per second. But they account for more than 76 percent of all flowing water in Wyoming.

David Waterstreet with DEQ says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency still needs to approve the plan. A public meeting on the changes is set for Sept. 16 in Casper.