Local News

Lake Wheeler beach closed for third time in August

Posted August 18, 2009 4:19 p.m. EDT

— Lake Wheeler in Raleigh is closed to recreational activities due to elevated levels of bacteria in the water. Wake County Environmental Services have closed the beach each Tuesday this month.

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

Acceptable levels of enterococci should not exceed 60 colony forming units (cfu) per 100 milliliters. A recent test found 218.7 cfu. Acceptable levels of E. coli are 235 cfu; a test found 1,553.1.

Authorities closed the beach after a negative test on Aug. 6, only to reopen it Aug. 8. It was closed again Aug. 11, and reopened on Monday.

The city always prohibits swimming at Lake Wheeler, but does normally allow fishing, boating and tubing.

The closure of the beach area prohibits "primary contact activities," defined as those where your head may go underwater, such as kayaking, sailing and windsurfing.