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Excessive levels of E. coli at Penticton’s Okanagan Beach prompts warning

Five times the acceptable amount of E. coli was found in the water at Okanagan Beach
A water advisory has been posted for Okanagan Beach between the SS Sicamous and the Peach following a test conducted on June 29, 2021 that identified higher than normal levels of bacteria. (Jesse Day - Western News)

A water advisory has been posted for Okanagan Beach between the S.S. Sicamous and the Penticton Peach after testing showed high levels of E. coli in the water.

The test conducted on Tuesday (June 29) found 2000 colony-forming units of E. coli per 100 ml of water — more than 1600 units over the acceptable amount.

The city of Penticton posted an advisory warning swimmers about the situation at Okanagan Lake Beach Friday (June 2) evening.

“Authorities do not believe anyone will become sick, but are still asking swimmers to take a number of precautions,” reads the advisory.

The possibility of illness increases as the level of bacteria increases.

The city is asking swimmers to avoid swallowing lake water and to wash their hands before handling food if they’ve been swimming. It’s not advisable to swim with an open cut or if you feel ill.

“Under conditions where bacteria may be washed into the water from the shore, such as strong northern winds or if the lake level is high, authorities suggest not swimming,” reads the city’s advisory.

This is the second time in just over one month that an E. Coli warning has been issued for Okanagan Lake. More than half the acceptable level of the bacteria was found in the lake near the end of May.

READ MORE: High levels of E. Coli detected in Okanagan Lake off Marina Way in Penticton

READ MORE: Smoky skies ahead for Okanagan Valley, Shuswap

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Jesse Day

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