Local News

Lake Wheeler beach closed for third time in August

Posted August 18, 2009

— Lake Wheeler in Raleigh is closed to recreational activities due to elevated levels of bacteria in the water. Wake County Environmental Services have closed the beach each Tuesday this month.

Routine tests showed levels of enterococci and E. coli, bacteria which can cause infections and lead to diarrhea, exceeded standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Acceptable levels of enterococci should not exceed 60 colony forming units (cfu) per 100 milliliters. A recent test found 218.7 cfu. Acceptable levels of E. coli are 235 cfu; a test found 1,553.1.

Authorities closed the beach after a negative test on Aug. 6, only to reopen it Aug. 8. It was closed again Aug. 11, and reopened on Monday.

The city always prohibits swimming at Lake Wheeler, but does normally allow fishing, boating and tubing.

The closure of the beach area prohibits "primary contact activities," defined as those where your head may go underwater, such as kayaking, sailing and windsurfing.


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  • time4real Aug 19, 2009

    apparently all that matters is that the beach is poo'd up! I could care less about the rest of it! Maybe it's time to throw a net over the "dad gum" birds and send them down the overflow creek!

  • tylerchapman Aug 19, 2009

    Wrong again! The majority of the lake is just as clean as any other, possibly cleaner! The only questionable, "on again, off again" area is the beach ONLY. Which leads some to believe the water fowl are to blame.

  • time4real Aug 19, 2009

    then it should be permanently closed if they want to do what's best because that hole is a cess pool that no one should be in until they drain it and bleach it out!

  • tylerchapman Aug 19, 2009

    But it's not old news. Yes the lake itself had been closed since mid 2006, however its closure was for unrelated issues. The "on again, off again" beach only closure these past few weeks has been stressful and possibly redundant, however its for the best, the city is doing what it can to ensure a safe fun park for us to enjoy.

  • time4real Aug 19, 2009

    what's so funny is this story is on again, off again, on again, off again, IT'S OLD NEWS and SOoooooooooooo predictable!

  • tylerchapman Aug 19, 2009

    This article is a tad misleading. The lake in its entirety IS safe, and still remains open to the public for activities such as skiing, tubing, etc. The beach area is the only location with elevated levels of bacteria, so this only impedes Lake Wheeler's kayak and sunfish rentals, since they launch only at the beach area. The sewage spill from cary back in 2006 is no longer a problem. The fishing, as someone brought up, is also safe.. I'm living proof of that. If the fish were unsafe, they wouldn't let us keep them. As long as they are cooked and cleaned properly, they are perfectly safe to eat. Figured I'd clear up this muddy article a bit.

  • KSJ Aug 18, 2009

    time4real---I am not sure what is so funny here.

  • KSJ Aug 18, 2009

    Can someone explain to me why fishing is still allowed? Who in the heck is going to want to eat anything that comes out of this lake? Wouldn't you think the city of Raleigh wouldn't want to be held responsible for someone getting sick after consuming fish from a lake with bacteria counts this high?

  • Made In USA Aug 18, 2009

    The massive sewage spill happened three years and two months ago, and the lake has yet to recover.

  • time4real Aug 18, 2009

    i'm am laughing my shorts off here...................