La Crosse, WI (WXOW) - After a week of closure, Pettibone Beach just re-opened this morning Monday July, 1.
Public beaches in the area are tested twice every week by an environmental health specialist and this past week they found the fecal coliform count to be over their limit of 1000--which can be a health hazard. The contamination was expected because of the high levels of rain and water level.
Fecal coliform, which derives from feces, can come from a child going to the bathroom in the water, farm manure runoff from upstream or even duck excrement.
Symptoms of recreational water illness include diarrhea, vomiting, chills, the sweats, and a lack of hunger.
Tessa Whitemarsh, an Environmental health Specialist, says that the risk has gone down allowing them to re-open the beach but she warns holiday swimmers to take steps to prevent water illnesses.
The MN health department recommends showering with soap before entering the water and washing your hands thoroughly. Also, try and avoid swallowing any of the water and do not swim if you are already sick. If you have children along, take them on bathroom breaks frequently.
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