High levels of E. Coli found in Warren Co. lake

WARREN COUNTY, OH (FOX19) - The state is warning swimmers of dangerous levels of bacteria in a Warren County lake.

The Ohio Beach Guard reports that there are high levels of E. Coli in the south Caesar Creek.

According to their website, the lake has been under this advisory since June 18.

Sampling results from July 9 show there are 1380 colonies of the bacteria per 100ml of water. The state says 235 colonies per 100ml is a safe level.

Ohio Department of Health Public Information Officer Tessie Pollock explains that E. Coli comes from fecal matter.

During times of heavy rain, an E. Coli surge is more common because of sewage runoff and animal droppings.

"When rain happens it washes whatever's on the ground, wherever it falls, towards streams and creeks and rivers," Warren County health commissioner Duane Stansbury explained.

Two laminated papers posted at the beach warned swimmers of the increased levels of contaminants.

"The sign that's posted is kind of small," Scott Franz told FOX19. "It's a pretty big beach. I would think that it would be difficult to know that there's e. coli in the water."

"At least post more warning signs of bacteria in the water so people know they're really putting themselves at risk," Scott's son Nate urged.

Pollock says that for most people, exposure to E. Coli will just cause a round of gastrointestinal discomfort but the symptoms can be more acute for young children, pregnant women, older adults and people with a lowered immune response.

Pollock says the health department strongly encourages those people not to swim during this sort of event.

According to the CDC symptoms of E. Coli contamination include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting.

In addition, high levels of algal toxics have been found at East Fork State Park at the campground beach. According to a post on East Fork's website, swimming and wading are not recommended for the very old, the very young and those with compromised immune systems.

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