Lake Wheeler beach closed fifth time

September 2, 2009 3:47:32 PM PDT
Wake County announced the closing of Lake Wheeler Tuesday due to elevated levels of bacteria based on Environmental Protection Agency Standards.

It's the fifth time within a month the lake has been closed. The first time was August 5 and that was followed by closings on August 11, 18 and 27. Each time the County cited increased level of bacteria, including Enterococci and E. coli.

"Yeah, last time I think I was out here it was closed, because of bacteria levels," patron Tabitha Carentz said. "Nobody was on the water."

Park officials said bacteria in the water, found in the feces of ducks and geese, is exceeding standards set by the EPA. For birds, the lake doubles as a restroom creating a routine problem at Lake Wheeler.

Park officials said people feeding the animals too much are the main contributor to the problem.

Brochures are being passed out that paint a vivid picture of what happens when the quacking creatures are full.

The lake is closed to any activity where one could go underwater like sailing and kayaking, because it could make you sick.

The City of Raleigh prohibits swimming in the lake. However, it will remain open to fishing, water skiing, tubing and other boat rental opportunities.

Click here to check a beach or lake.

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