Volunteer water watcher urges caution at lake

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 1, 2015


Swimmers wanting to utilize Lake Jackson should use caution, a volunteer water quality watcher said Monday.

“The Lake Jackson beaches remain posted as yellow (caution) because of the waterfowl and both the measured E.coli and potential for much higher E.coli levels after rainfall runoff events,” said Mike Mullen of the Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper.

Mullen suggested using the beach area west of the pier for swimming.

Mullen said samples he collected on Aug. 27 found E.coli slightly above the standard at 150 E. coli per milliliter. The standard is 126 E. coli per milliliter.

“For a designated swimming area at one of the three beach location, there were still waterfowl in the vicinity of that beach and their behavior indicated that they are still being fed,” he said. “E. coli levels should be expected to spike when there is a rainfall/runoff event at the site. Sampling will be performed again before the Labor Day weekend.”

Mullen said those who have an impaired immune system due to medications or disease should exercise care and avoid use for 24 to 48 hours after rain events large enough to cause runoff.

“Same for younger children most at risk of dehydration if they were to become ill,” he said. “Also folks with open wound should use caution.”