Local News

Bacteria forces closure of Beaverdam beach; Lake Wheeler beach reopened

Posted August 10, 2010 4:37 p.m. EDT

— Wake County on Tuesday closed recreational swimming areas at Falls Lake's Beaverdam beach because of elevated levels of bacteria.

The county routinely tests recreational lakes for bacteria, and when levels of enterococci bacteria exceed Environmental Protection Agency standards, the area is closed to any activity where someone's head might go underwater, officials said.

“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," Wake County Environmental Services Director Tommy Esqueda said in a statement. "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.“

Falls Lake isn't closed to fishing and other swimming areas remain open, officials said.

Officials on Tuesday also reopened recreational swimming areas at Lake Wheeler beach.  The areas were closed last Thursday because of elevated levels of bacteria but water quality has since returned to normal levels, officials said.