DELAWARE CO., OH (WCMH)–The Ohio Department of Health has issued contamination advisories for three Central Ohio beaches.
An advisory for the main beach at Alum Creek was issued Friday for high bacteria levels. The Ohio Department of Health shows a high level of E. coli found at the beach. Ohio Water Quality recommendations for public beaches allow for 235 colonies of E. Coli for every 100 ml of water. Alum Creek showed 422 colony-forming units (cfu) per 100 ml, a remarkable jump from the 20 cfu found in the July 12 sample.
An advisory was also issued for the beach at the Delaware Reservoir for high E. coli levels on Friday (359 cfu/100 ml up from 216 on July 12), as well as Madison Lake outside of London (345 cfu/100 ml up from 75 on July 11).
Children, the elderly and those in ill health or weakened immune systems are advised not to swim in these bodies of water.
“I don’t think I’m going to be getting in until I hear any different changes,” said 12-year-old swimmer Connor Boyce. “I’ve swallowed some of the water and it’s kind of scary that I could be very sick with E. Coli.”
But, he wasn’t the only one who didn’t know about the contamination at Alum Creek Beach.
“It’s a little concerning because I have a 3-year-old,” said John Fisher, who was also at the beach. “I’m probably going to get him out of the water.”
ODNR says geese could be to blame for the spike in the E. Coli levels.
There is a “Water Quality Advisory” sign before you get the parking lot, but most families on the beach Saturday said they missed it.
“I would definitely, if I see signs look into it and want to know what it’s about, but I had no idea whatsoever,” said Fisher.
“There’s no signs or no anything, so we thought it would be closed if it was bad,” said Karen Wilson, who was also at the beach.
She says she heard about the alert from a friend.
“We’re just kind of not getting in the water much, don’t want to chance it,” she said.
On Saturday, the beach wasn’t as crowded as it usually is, which slowed down business for food vendors.
“I’m seeing like 6 or 7 boats it would normally be 15-20 boats, jet ski’s… Everything so it’s extremely slow, but I thought it was basically the bad weather,” said food vendor Raymond Gordon.
But, for those who are here, they’re still enjoying the beach.
“You can still have fun and be cautious,” said Wilson.
ODNR says E. Coli levels change quickly and expect them to go back to normal soon. New water test results should be available early next week.