VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — No one will be allowed to swim in Vancouver Lake for the foreseeable future due to higher-than-normal levels of E. coli.
Clark County Public Health closed the lake to swimming and wading on Tuesday after water samples taken the day before showed elevated levels of the bacteria.
Officials advised anglers to avoid contact with the water and thoroughly clean all fish and fishing gear. Water in park restrooms and shelters is still safe to drink.
Vancouver Lake will remain closed to swimmers until the bacteria return to safe levels.
The lake is also under a blue-green algae warning due to elevated levels of cyanotoxins in the water. Again, this means everyone should avoid direct contact with lake water.
E. coli can cause serious gastrointestinal illness if the water is accidentally swallowed. Infections can lead to fever, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea starting several hours or even several days after exposure.