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Two swimming areas on Beaver Lake in Northwest Arkansas and two swimming areas on Lake Dardanelle in the River Valley area have been closed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers because of E. coli levels.

Swimming areas at Prairie Creek and War Eagle parks on Beaver Lake are closed until further notice after routine testing by the Department of Health showed higher-than-acceptable levels of E. coli.

Swimming areas at Piney Bay and Shoal Bay parks on Lake Dardanelle also have been closed after elevated E. coli levels were found there as well.

E. coli is a bacteria that normally lives in the intestines of people and animals, according to the Mayo Clinic. Most types are harmless or can cause relatively brief bouts of diarrhea, but some strains can cause abdominal cramps and nausea as well.

Swimming is not recommended in areas with high bacteria levels, and signs have been posted at all the sites.

Corps employees are working to determine the source of the higher levels, but believe high amounts of rainfall this spring are a contributing factor at both lakes.

Testing will continue on a daily basis, and the swim beaches will be reopened as soon as test results indicate it is safe to do so.

Metro on 05/23/2020

Print Headline: E. coli shuts swimming holes

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