FLORALA, Ala. (WDHN) — Choctawhatchee River keeper Michael Mullins recently collected samples of water at Lake Jackson and discovered high levels of E.coli present.
With the potential dangers associated with the microorganism, Florala Mayor Terry Holley, encourages people to avoid swimming until further notice.
“Anybody who has an immune problem — people with cancer, open sores, and that’s anytime you go swimming or even in pools or anything — that it could be a problem for them,” Holley said. “If you have had a fresh tattoo, you know, don’t get in the water.”
City officials want to remind people to respect our waterways by not throwing out soiled diapers into the water. Also, dogs going into the water may have also been a contributing factor to the issue.
According to Holley, this is the first time high levels of E.coli have been detected in the lake for as long as he can remember.
“The rest of the lake is fine. We still have the fishing,” he added. “We have everything else. Just the swimming area has been affected because we’ve had a lot of people; especially since Memorial Day … just a drastic amount of people coming in.”
And with the high volumes of people visiting, they have been proactive and have placed signs all around 500 acre lake that spans both Alabama and Florida.
A water sample collected east of the pier was 433 E.coli per 100 ml, where the minimum requirement to meet water quality standards for recreational waters should be 298 E.coli per 100 ml or less.
More testing will be conducted next week, but the source of the bacteria is still unknown.