Many studies indicate the presence of human pathogens and drug-resistant bacteria in treated sewage sludge. Since one of the main methods of treated sewage disposal is by application to agricultural land, the presence of these organisms is of concern to human health. The goal of this study was to determine whether the frequency of drug-resistant and indicator bacteria in Sugar Creek, which is used for recreational purposes, was influenced by proximity to a farmland routinely amended with treated sludge (site E). Surface water from 3 sites along Sugar Creek (site E, 1 upstream site (site C) and 1 downstream site (site K)) were tested for the presence of ampicillin-resistant (Amp(R)) bacteria, fecal and total coliforms over a period of 40 d. Site E consistently had higher frequencies of Amp(R) bacteria and fecal coliforms compared with the other 2 sites. All of the tested Amp(R) isolates were resistant to at least 1 other antibiotic. However, no isolate was resistant to more than 4 classes of antimicrobials. These results suggest that surface runoff from the farmland is strongly correlated with higher incidence of Amp(R) and fecal coliforms at site E.