Bob Weaver, administrator and chief scientist for the Kosciusko County Health Department, theorizes that the lack of rain has actually kept E. coli bacteria levels in area lakes down because there has not been the runoff associated with it. Weaver says rainfall is responsible for causing contaminates from roads, fields and even storm drains to wash into and pollute the lakes. The drought has actually helped keep the contaminates out of the water.
The KCHD tests the waters at all county public beaches every Monday. Test results are available within 24 hours. Weaver says if they get a high contaminate reading, the waters are immediately retested and will continue to be tested daily until the levels subside.
With some rains that fell in Kosciusko County Friday and again Sunday, Weaver feels the levels at the public beaches could be slightly elevated when today’s results are realized tomorrow, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it would be enough to cause problems.
E. coli is the main reason why area beaches must be closed. The bacteria can cause diarrhea, pneumonia and other illnesses. Warsaw’s Center Lake beach was closed only one day so far this summer.