High levels of E. coli force three Falls Lake beaches to close
Posted June 18, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — Wake County environmental officials said Wednesday that they have closed three recreational swimming areas at Falls Lake after routine tests found high levels of E.coli in the water.
The affected areas are Sandling Beach, Beaverdam Beach and Holly Point Beach. The lake is not closed to fishing or boating activities outside of the designated swimming areas.
“We want to ensure people don’t come in contact with high levels of bacteria that could result in illness,” said Kathryn Hobby, a registered environmental health specialist with Wake County Environmental Services. “We will continue to collect water samples in order to reopen the beaches for swimming as soon as the bacteria levels within the EPA-established standards.”
Two consecutive acceptable samples, based on standards of the Environmental Protection Agency, are required to reopen the areas.
Acceptable levels of E. coli cannot exceed 235 colony forming units per 100 milliliters. The county’s test results found amounts ranging from 387.3 cfu to more than 2,419 cfu.
Health officials advise swimmers to always wash hands with soap and water, and thoroughly shower after swimming, tubing or skiing in area lakes.