Bacteria causes lake closure

WAKE COUNTY Wake County is closing the Beaverdam Beach swimming area at Falls Lake due to high levels of bacteria, according to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards.

Officials say when bacteria levels exceed EPA standards, the area is closed for swimming or any activity where your head may go underwater.

"Our goal is to eliminate the potential for citizens to come into contact with excessive levels of bacteria, as that could result in creating illness conditions for individuals," said Wake County Environmental Services Director Tommy Esqueda.

The county says it tests recreational lakes for bacteria --including Enterococci and E coli-- routinely and weekly during the summer months.

"We will continue to collect water samples on a daily basis for the area and reopen the lake for swimming as soon as the bacteria levels fall below the EPA-established standards," Esqueda said. "After we observe two consecutive days of acceptable bacteria levels, the area will be reopened for recreation."

County officials say the lakes are not closed to fishing. They suggest that you call your local lake facility to find out if an area is open to swimming.

Officials remind swimmers to always wash their hands with soap and water and thoroughly shower after swimming, tubing or skiing in area lakes.

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