High bacteria levels at three SWLA beaches - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

High bacteria levels at three SWLA beaches

Three beaches in Southwest Louisiana are under advisories this week because of high bacteria levels. (Source: KPLC) Three beaches in Southwest Louisiana are under advisories this week because of high bacteria levels. (Source: KPLC)
SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA (KPLC) -

From the months of May through October, the Louisiana Department of Health Beach Monitoring Program tests water at 24 beach sites along the state's coast, including many in Southwest Louisiana.

The purpose is to determine whether the water quality at these recreational beaches meets EPA criteria.

The beach water is analyzed for fecal coliform and enterococci bacteria. This bacteria is found in sewage pollution and can cause disease, infections, or rashes.

After big rain or flooding events, agricultural run-off can cause these numbers to rise. The heat of summer can also cause a surge in bacterial counts as the water temperature rises.
    
This week's report shows three Southwest Louisiana beaches under advisories: Rutherford Beach in Cameron Parish, and both Lake Charles North and South Beaches.

These beaches are not closed, but swimming is not advised while the beaches are under advisories because of the high levels of bacteria.

Water samples are taken every week and beaches are only closed in extreme cases.

It is always important to avoid going into lakes, rivers, or ponds if you have a break in the skin. Vibrio vulnificus, or flesh-eating bacteria, surges in warm months and is always a threat in bodies of water.

The weekly Beach Monitoring Program updates advisories every week through October.  Click here to follow that information.

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