Hope Mills issues swim advisory over high bacteria levels in lake

ByGary Cooper via WTVD logo
Saturday, July 14, 2018

HOPE MILLS, NC (WTVD) -- One of the best ways to cool off during a sizzling summer is with a refreshing dip in a lake.

Just ask Hope Mills resident Krysta Wilds, who visited Hope Mills Lake with her dad, her little brothers and sisters, and her son, who was celebrating a birthday.

The water is fun - but right now - it's also dirty.

So dirty in fact, that posted signs warn people to swim at their own risk.

The City of Hope Mills said recent tests show another increase in bacteria.

"It's an open body of water, so on any given day there could be high levels and then you can test the next day and the levels are very low," said Hope Mills official Melissa Adams.

The latest tests are still below what the state considers dangerous.

"There's nothing to worry about," Adams said. "The water in the lake - we are currently testing it. It is currently showing a high level of fecal bacteria, but we have four areas that we're testing, and the only area that came back with a high number of bacteria is the actual swimming area."

The problem? Geese - and the people who keep feeding them.

"I would just implore the public to follow the advisory and not to feed the geese because they are a contributing factor," Adams said.

As for Wilds and her family, she's OK with it.

"I used to swim out here when I was little, and I think that they'll be good out here," Wilds said. "Kids are resilient."

Barring any rain during the weekend, the city said it will test the water again on Monday.