in the Water
WTGV Toldeo (OH)
Posted on August 4, 2005
Lake Erie beaches are posted for bacteria outbreaks but
it probably won't hurt you.
The steamy weather sent plenty of families to the lakes
for relief today. But those who visited Maumee Bay state
park were in for a not-so-pleasant surprise. With the sun
bearing down, nothing looks better than the cool water.
But the danger sign at Maumee Bay state park is bringing
lots of would-be swimmers to a stop.
There's something in the water - and it could make you
sick. The Torres family just learned the water of this
inland lake is full of e. Coli bacteria. Regular park
visitors know these signs are put up almost every year.
And the good news is: taking a dip isn't deadly. E. Coli
expert Dr. Daryl Dwyer says, "The e. Coli by themselves
are not necessarily bad but there are probably other things
with them that could be harmful for human health."
Dr. Dwyer is a professor at the University of Toledo.
He took us through the labs where research is underway
on the water contamination. He says the chance of getting
sick is slim, but possible. "A lot of these bacteria
will die in sunlight. It's lethal for them. They'll just
die over time." Dr. Dwyer says the e. Coli bacteria
can enter your body through the mouth, nose or open wounds.
Right now, researchers are conducting molecular tests
to find out whether the feces came from animals or humans.
The EPA reported monitoring 47 Great Lakes beaches in
Ohio last year. About 80 percent are checked on up to
four times a week, including Crane Creek and Maumee Bay
state park's Erie Beach. Seven beaches in Ottawa County
are checked at least twice a week, including South Bass
Island state park and Catawba Island state park.