Local News

Two Wake County swimming areas closed due to bacteria

Posted May 22, 2009 11:31 a.m. EDT
Updated May 22, 2009 1:39 p.m. EDT

— Wake County officials closed two recreational swimming areas Friday due to elevated levels of bacteria, based on Environmental Protection Agency standards.

The affected areas are Sandling Beach at Falls Lake State Recreational Area and Camp Kanata Lake, a private lake near Wake Forest. The lakes are not closed to fishing.

"We are trying to prevent people from getting sick, so we'll keep sampling and reopen the lakes for swimming as soon as the levels return to normal," Wake County Environmental Services Director Tommy Esqueda said in a news release.

Two consecutive acceptable samples are required to reopen the lakes, which could be as soon as this weekend, he added.

County officials suggest calling recreational lake facilities to find out if they are open to swimming.

Health officials advise swimmers to always wash hands with soap and water, and thoroughly shower after swimming, tubing or skiing in area lakes.

The county routinely tests recreational lakes for bacteria, including enterococci and E coli.

When bacteria levels exceed EPA standards, the area is closed to "primary contact recreation," which is swimming or any activity where people's heads may go underwater.

The county samples the lakes weekly each summer.