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story.lead_photo.caption NWA Democrat-Gazette/FLIP PUTTHOFF Swim beach at Rocky Branch Park.

ROGERS -- Three of four swim beaches at Beaver Lake that were closed just before Memorial Day weekend because of high E. coli bacteria levels reopened Wednesday, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The Corps closed the areas on May 24.

Closed swimming areas were Hickory Creek and Prairie Creek parks, the swim beach at Horseshoe Bend Day Use Area and the campers-only beach at Rocky Branch camping area.

The Horseshoe Bend Day Use Area remains closed because of high water, said Corps spokeswoman Laurie Driver. The water level was 1,127.23 feet on Thursday, Driver said.

"That's just a safety issue," she said of Horseshoe Bend. "Everything else is open."

Driver encouraged people who are on the lake to use life jackets because of the high water.

The cause of the elevated bacteria levels still isn't known and could range from runoff from recent heavy rain to a dense congregation of geese in those areas, Driver said.

The state Department of Health tests water samples from each swimming area every day, according to Driver. The closed areas reopened again after the department received two clear sample results in a row, Driver said.

There could be more swim beach closing in the future if high E. coli bacteria pop up again, she said.

Closing a swim beach does not mean the entire lake is also closed, Driver said. Visitors can still fish, swim and do other lake activities, she said.

Treatment of lake water by the Beaver Water District wasn't affected, she said.

NW News on 06/07/2019

Print Headline: Three swim beaches at Beaver Lake reopen

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