Kenosha County health and parks department officials cleared Silver Lake beach and reopened it to the public early Saturday following a few days of being closed for high E. coli levels.
Officials declared Silver Lake beach open in an online post that read: “Just in time for a hot day. Silver Lake Park is once again open to swimmers.”
The beach at Silver Lake was closed Thursday following initial testing that showed higher than allowed E. coli levels. Follow-up testing revealed there were even higher levels of E. coli than when tested Wednesday.
The Paddock-Hooker Lake Beach Association beach on Paddock Lake was closed Wednesday and improved to a cautionary level on Thursday.
The state Department of Health recommends municipalities post warnings when E. coli levels reach 330/100ml, or more. Beaches are closed when E. coli levels reach 1000/100ml.
Testing Wednesday revealed that the E. coli level at Silver Lake was 2,419/100 ml and 866/100ml at the Paddock-Hooker Lake Beach Association beach on Paddock Lake. Both beaches were subsequently tested each day through Saturday.
Testing is conducted by the Kenosha County Division of Health.
According to the health department, some sources of E. coli contamination include runoff off from agricultural and domestic properties and from stormwater that washes fecal matter from birds and other animals into the lake.
Sewage overflows and sewage treatment plant malfunctions are other sources of contamination, though none have been reported.
Microorganisms found in contaminated water can cause flu-like symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache and fever. Other germs can cause ear infections, eye infections, and skin rashes. In rare cases, swimmers can develop infections from exposure to polluted water through an open wound.
Beach test results can be found at http://www.co.kenosha.wi.us/348/Beach-Conditions.