COPY-E-Coli Forces Two Arcadia Beaches To Close

Friday, July 8th 2011, 12:42 pm

By: News 9

Michael Konopasek, News 9

EDMOND, Oklahoma -- Two beaches at Arcadia Lake are off-limits after an outbreak of E-Coli, but that's not stopping some lake-goers.

The two beaches that are closed are Edmond Park Beach and Spring Creek Park Beach. Both closed at 10 a.m. Thursday, eight days after tainted water samples were extracted.

On a hot, hot summer day, not much sounds better than taking a dip in the lake, but Arcadia Lake may have you reconsidering.

"This is the first time [that I've been] aware of [E-coli at Arcadia Lake,] and I've been here for about 15 years," said Bill Parkerson, Army Corps Of Engineers representative. " I suspect this is going to snowball … to other lakes until we get some rain."

City leaders said animal feces led to the E-coli, and the dry weather isn't helping. The dryness is allowing the bacteria to flourish.

High levels of E-Coli bacteria were found in water samples taken from the lake more than a week ago. Experts say it takes about four to five days for test results to be produced, but, in this case, it took twice as long.

City officials blame the delay on the Fourth of July holiday. During the delay, the affected lake saw a lot of people, as it does every year on the nation's birthday.

"If anyone swam over … the Fourth of July weekend, if you feel ill, we recommend you may want to see a physician," said City of Edmond representative Ashleigh Clark

According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of E-coli include diarrhea, abdominal cramping, nausea and vomiting, but even that is not keeping some from the lake.

"Life is about taking risks, so I think I'm going to take a risk on this one," said beach-goer William Thompson."[It's] no big deal. If I vomit, I vomit … we'll just stick to the plan."

Thompson and his friends said they plan on wake boarding away from the shores, where most of the E-coli is believed to be.

Experts said they do not expect the beaches to be clear of the bacteria any time soon until it rains.

Arcadia Lake does supply some of the city's drinking water, but city leaders say the E-Coli should not affect the water.

The City says it will test the lake again tomorrow.


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