Multiple swimming areas in Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley have been closed due to an E. coli threat, according to affiliate station KTHV.
The following swimming areas have been closed:
- Camp Joshua - Benton County
- Piney Bay - Johnson County
- Shoal Bay - Logan County
- Kennen Lake - Logan County
- Shadow Lake - Sebastian County
- Camp Caudle - Pope County
E. coli is a large group of bacteria. Some kinds of it can lead to diarrhea, while others cause urinary tract infections, pneumonia, respiratory illness and other illnesses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Camp Joshua officials in Benton County said even though they are on the health department’s list, the creek on the property has never been used for swimming.
They said the health department cleared campers to canoe and fish, as long as they didn’t get in the water. Officials said they received an email from the health department today that the second test for E. Coli came back clear; they have to have one more clear test in order for people to get in the water.
People in Northwest Arkansas said they hadn’t really thought about the threat of E. Coli in the lakes and rivers until now.
Ashley Rodriguez said she was on her way to Shadow Lake for the weekend, which is one of the areas that tested positive for E. Coli.
“I really don’t know enough about what’s actually in the water,” Rodriguez said, “So maybe if I knew a little bit more about it, then I might be a little more cautious about getting into the water.”
Rodriguez said she still plans on kayaking, but she isn’t sure she will be going swimming.
Aubrey Glasgow said now that she knows there are areas that tested positive, she will be thinking twice about jumping in.
“I’ll probably start thinking about it, and wonder about the risks, and what it can cause and do to you and probably not go to the lake or river anymore,” Glasgow said.
She said E. Coli was serious, and she definitely did not want to mess around and get sick
To read the full story on our affiliate station's website KTHV - Channel 11, click here.