E. coli swimming advisory lifted at Silver Beach

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ST. JOSEPH, Mich. -- It’s safe to swim at Silver Beach again after an E. coli advisory prevented people from getting in the water for about 24 hours.

The Berrien County Health Department said on Tuesday, levels were 2,000 E. coli per 100 milliliters. 

Below 300 is safe for full body swimming.

But, this isn't rare after a heavy rain like we saw earlier this week.

“That can sometimes cause churning up of sediment at the bottom of the lake, which can lead to higher E. coli readings, so this is not totally uncommon,” said Gillian Conrad, MPH, Communications Manager at the Berrien County Health Department.

And it’s not something to be worried about, hence why the water passed its retest less than one day later.

“E. coli bacteria do not survive very long in water and there’s a lot of environmental factors that can cause bacteria levels to change pretty rapidly,” said Conrad. “The wind, waves and weather patterns will cause the bacterial levels to change, often times multiple times even in a 24 hour period.”

None of the surrounding beaches ever tested above acceptable levels.

The Berrien County Health Department advises against swallowing lake water or using Lake Michigan as a bathroom and recommends washing your hands after being in the water.

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