AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – The extremely hot weather may send some people outside to enjoy the water. But the Savannah Riverkeeper’s office wants to warn everyone about the water quality at a popular lake.
You may want to think twice before going out to Lake Olmstead. After a recent water quality test, the riverkeeper’s office found high levels of e-coli.
“Last week when we sampled, it had risen to over 1400, which is borderline really high,” Truck Carlson said.
E-coli testing at Lake Olmstead lead the Savannah Riverkeeper’s Office to issue a water quality alert for high levels of potentially harmful bacteria. Veterans for Clean Water Program Coordinator Truck Carlson, who also works for the riverkeeper, told us the amount of e-coli at 1400 is almost five times the limit.
“Anything below 268 is ok, per Georgia EPD standards for recreation.”
Recently, NewsChannel 6 told you about a rare, brain eating bacteria found in lakes and other hot waters. But while this current water quality notice may be heat related, Carlson advised its not the source.
“It seems like this is a point source, possibly a sewage break, or another source somewhere. It’s just concerning because the level keeps rising from week to week.”
Thinking about jumping in anyway? Don’t. Carlson said too much e-coli can be dangerous for some people.
“We all have e-coli in us,” Carlson explained. “But too much of a good thing isn’t. So, when you get an imbalance of e-coli it can make you sick. It can make you ill and with a suppressed immune system, it can be dangerous.”
Carlson said the water was tested Tuesday morning and the results should be in within a day.
Photojournalist: Gary Hipps