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Whitmore Lake beach shut down due to high E. Coli

Scanning electron micrograph of Escherichia coli
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Scanning electron micrograph of Escherichia coli

UPDATE: Beach is REOPENED as of Fri, June 21
The Washtenaw County Health Department has closed Independence Lake Beach in Whitmore Lake due to high levels of E. Coli bacteria.

The high levels were detected through routine testing done during the summer months. The closure will remain in effect until follow-up testing shows the levels considered safe for swimming.

Other activities apart from entering the water are still permitted.

Washtenaw County Public Health Department Public Information Officer Susan Ringler Cerniglia says such results are not uncommon this time of the year.

“Often, the cause of that is when we get heavy rain, and animal waste is washed into the water. So, often, that is something like goose poop.”

E. Coli can cause gastrointestinal illness and are a particular concern for people with weakened immune systems.

Ringler Cerniglia says that’s a reason people should take some precautions after swimming in a natural water source.

“Try not to ingest the lake water certainly, and when you're done swimming, make sure you’re washing your hands or using a hand sanitizer before eating or before having your hands in your mouth or anything like that.”  

Anyone who believes they have become ill after swimming in Independence Lake should contact the Washtenaw County Environmental Health Division and their personal physician.

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News Reporter and Host Kevin Meerschaert was a student reporter at WEMU in the early 90s. After another 30 years in the public radio business and stops in Indiana, Maryland, Florida, and New Mexico, Kevin is back to where it all began.
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