Local News

Lake Wheeler beach closed for fourth time in August

Posted August 27, 2009 9:03 a.m. EDT
Updated August 27, 2009 9:41 a.m. EDT

— Wake County environmental officials closed the beach at Lake Wheeler for the fourth time in August after finding elevated bacteria levels Thursday.

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

Levels of enterococci should not exceed 60 colony forming units (cfu) per 100 milliliters, while E. coli shouldn't exceed 235 cfu. Tests found 95.9 cfu of enterococci and 344.8 cfu of E. coli.

The closure bans any activity in which a person's head goes underwater, including kayaking, Sunfish sail boating and wind surfing lessons. The city always prohibits swimming at Lake Wheeler.

Fishing, water skiing, tubing and other boat rentals are still permitted.

The beach will remained closed until bacteria levels meet EPA standards for two straight days.

Wake County closed the beach at Lake Wheeler due to elevated bacteria levels three times earlier this month.