Local News

High Bacteria Levels Close Three Area Lakes To Swimmers

Posted July 14, 2006 7:47 a.m. EDT

— Wake County Health inspectors have shut down three lakes to swimmers due to unhealthy levels of bacteria.

Swimming is off limits at Silver Lake, Lake Wheeler and Camp New Life Lake. According to county officials, Lake Wheeler is still open for boating and fishing.

The bacteria exceeds EPA minimum standards and showed up in tests this week.

Several people were disappointed as they were turned away from all three lakes Friday morning.

"I was taking the children to enjoy a day at the lake," said Silver Lake visitor Ken Perry. "We actually have some friends we need to call and say, 'Don't come.' (One child) has a birthday next week and we were seeing if it was a good place for her to have a party."

Staff members said they were doing whatever possible to cooperate with county officials.

"We're just trying to be up front about it," said Silver Lake employee Brandon Wolfe. "We regret that we can't open for everybody to come out, but we're just trying to look out for everybody's safety."

Health inspectors said late Friday afternoon that Silver Lake and Lake Wheeler may reopen for swimming by 1 p.m. Saturday, depending on continued testing at the lakes. Camp New Life Lake is not expected to reopen until sometime next week.

County officials said runoff from recent heavy rains contributed to the problem.

A previous version of this story reported that Camp Kanata was closed. It is open.