Swimming area at Grand Lake State Park closed after E.coli, Enterococci found in water samples

BERNICE, Okla. -- The swimming area at Grand Lake State Park in Bernice, Okla. has been closed due to the presence of E.coli and Enterococci detected in the water.

The Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department closed the area temporarily Tuesday after the Grand River Dam Authority found levels of bacteria in water samples exceeded the Oklahoma Water Resources Board.

A family recently reported their child had a stomach bug and ear infection after swimming at Bernice State Park. Another parent reported their child had a skin rash after visiting the area. 

"It sure changed this weekend didn't it?" said Ben Summers, a Gran Lake State Park camper. "Now all the sudden, we got out the GRDA map and looking for another place to launch the boat because we called GRDA and they said we can go away from this area and still get in the water."

GRDA says the area will remain closed to the public for at least 48 hours, through Thursday. During that time, additional water samples will be evaluated.

“Public safety is our top priority.” said Justin Alberty, GRDA spokesperson. “At this time, it appears this is an isolated area of Grand Lake that is being impacted. We have not determined the cause yet but are actively investigating at this time. We constantly monitor the water quality of bodies of water overseen by GRDA and will continue to keep the public informed as we learn more. Until that time, we recommend that lake users avoid this area of the park.”

Alberty said GRDA is working with the OWRB, Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality and Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department on the investigation.

If you're concerned about a certain part of Grand Lake, biologists regularly test 15 places for anything toxic in the water. Find the results at checkmyoklake.com .

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