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Dangerous Levels of E. Coli Found in Arkansas Lakes

May 28, 2015

Dangerous levels of E. coli have been found in some Arkansas lakes, leading the state Department of Health to close swimming areas.

According to the Arkansas Health Department, 11 beaches have been closed in the state.

Kerry Krell with the Arkansas Department of Health explained the high bacteria levels to THV11: "The high amount of rainfall is a large factor in these closures; runoff from the land surrounding the swim beaches picks up more bacteria (E. coli) that is naturally present in the waste of nearly all animals."

The EPA safety threshold for E. coli in water is 126 parts for every 100 milliliters of water, but according to THV11, a sample from the Choctaw swim area was almost four times that much. The Department would have to receive two consecutive clean samples of lake water before reopening the beaches.

Certain strains of E. coli can cause diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.

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