Grand River Dam Authority reports continued elevated bacteria levels at Bernice State Park

BERNICE, Okla. - New tests of the Bernice State Park swimming area show continued elevated levels of E. coli and Enterococci in the waters of Grand Lake.

Justin Alberty, Grand River Dam Authority spokesman, says the newest results have forced the closure to be extended until at least Friday.

Alberty says more samples will be taken Friday.

GRDA will continue looking for the source of the bacteria.

The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) offers the following tips swimmers should keep in mind:

-- Hold nose or wear nose plugs when jumping into the water.

-- Wash open skin cuts and scrapes with clean soap and water immediately after swimming.

-- Avoid swallowing water when swimming.

-- Wear ear plugs to prevent ear infections.

-- Wear swim goggles or masks to prevent eye infections.

-- Avoid swimming near storm drains (pipes that drain polluted water from streets).

-- Take children to the restroom frequently/Use swim diapers on infants.

-- Also, after swimming, always remember to wash hands with soap and water for a full 20 seconds before preparing or eating food.

On Tuesday, the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department closed the area after water samples tested positive for the bacteria

Several families reported their children ill after swimming at Bernice State Park.

According to the GRDa, the area will remain closed at least through Thursday.

Alberty says the GRDA is working with the OWRB, Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality and Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department to determine the source of the bacteria.

Biologists regularly test 15 locations of Grand Lake for toxic levels in the water. Find the results at checkmyoklake.com .

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