State E. Coli Alerts Help Swimmers Avoid Contaminated Waters

A new mobile application will allow people to sign up for alerts to let them know when particular beaches have closed, so they can better plan their weekends.

Indiana Dunes

Photo: unwhit, Flickr Creative Commons

Some beaches, like the Indiana Dunes in Porter, IN, are at risk for dangerous levels of the bacteria E. coli.

The state of Indiana has implemented a new system that will alert residents in four Northern Indiana counties when beaches are closed due to E. coli contamination.

Amber Finklestein, with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, explained the Indiana Beaches Alert System: “It is a mobile application that will allow people to sign up for alerts to let them know when particular beaches have closed, so they can plan their weekends better.”

Finklestein said the application is a necessary precaution. Beaches particularly in the counties of Porter, Lake, Laporte and Kosciusko can have high levels of the dangerous bacteria. She explained,

“E. coli is a bacteria that lives in the lower intestine of warm blooded animals. There are a lot of different ways it can find its way into our waterways. Wild animals, such as ducks and geese, overflowing or malfunctioning septic systems in the area, and runoff from the fields.”

The Beaches Alert System will monitor beach conditions at public and private beaches in at risk counties, allowing visitors to its mobile Web site to obtain real-time information throughout the summer. In the mean time, the Department of Environmental Management recommends swimmers wash their hands before eating, and shower and wash their swimsuits after swimming.

The site can be accessed by computer or mobile phone at www.in.gov/beachesalert.

Network Indiana

Network Indiana Indiana's Only Audio News Network. Network Indiana is dedicated to providing the state of Indiana important and useful information.

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