Local News

2 Falls Lake swimming areas remain closed due to bacteria

Posted June 13, 2008 5:52 p.m. EDT
Updated June 13, 2008 9:42 p.m. EDT

— Two swimming areas at Falls Lake Recreation Area remained closed Friday because they had tested positive for bacteria that could make people sick.

The closures by the state Division of Parks and Recreation affect swimming areas at the Beaverdam access point, off N.C. Highway 50, and the Holly Point access area, a camping-only site on New Light Road.

Tests detected enterococcus, a bacteria normally found in the feces of humans and many animals, in the water.

The Beaverdam access point is a popular spot for kayaking and boating.

“I don't mind kayaking cause we don't get water in our mouth and that sort of thing,” kayaker Harold Quidley said of the water concerns.

Despite yellow caution tape along the beach area, some visitors with whom WRAL talked with said they were not aware of a "no swimming" advisory.

“I wasn't aware of a swimming advisory,” kayaker Jay Davis said.

At the guard shack, a prominent sign reads "no nadar" in Spanish.

Falls Lake recreation area Superintendent Scott Kershner said that because of a high percentage of Hispanic visitors, who don't speak English,– the "no nadar" or "no swimming" signs are necessary. English-speaking visitors are supposed to be orally told of the advisory when they enter the beach areas, Kershner added.

The Wake County Health Department conducted more tests on Friday; however, the results were not immediately available. Two clean water samples must be collected consecutively within a 24-hour period before the swimming areas can be reopened.

The earliest the two swimming areas could reopen is Saturday at noon.

Swimming areas at the Sandling Beach and Rollingview access areas remained open.