Kentucky Lake Closed to Swimming, Bacteria Cited

June 20, 2011

The beach at Lake Barkley State Resort Park has stayed closed for swimming, nearly a month after the traditional Memorial Day weekend opening because the waters have tested for high levels of E. coli bacteria.

Park Manager John Jordan told The Kentucky New Era he’s hoping the beach can be opened in a week, particularly if it rains and the current moves the water.

Most varieties of E. coli bacteria are harmless or cause brief diarrhea, though a few varieties can damage human organs.

The bacteria has forced closings of the beach in the past, including in 2009.

The Trigg County Health Department tests the water every week. Jordan said the water tested in the safe range for swimming, but won’t reopen until another test shows the water safe.

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