Public Health issues warning for Battle Ground Lake swim beach due to E. coli bacteria

Published Date

Clark County Public Health has issued a swim beach warning at Battle Ground Lake after routine testing showed elevated levels of E. coli bacteria. The bacteria can cause serious gastrointestinal illness when water is accidentally swallowed.

Test results for one of five water samples collected at Battle Ground Lake on Monday showed elevated levels of E. coli bacteria. The other samples had bacteria levels within acceptable water quality standards.

Warning signs are being posted at the lake. While the warning is in place, Public Health advises against swimming and wading, especially for young children who are more likely to accidentally swallow water. People who have contact with the water at the swim beach should rinse off after.

Public Health will collect additional water samples on Tuesday, June 21. The results of those tests will determine the next steps, which could include lifting the warning or closing the beach.

Battle Ground Lake State Park remains open to the public. Park visitors may continue to catch and consume fish caught in the lake but should thoroughly clean all fish and equipment.

Vancouver Lake

The swim beach at Vancouver Lake remains closed due to elevated levels of E. coli bacteria. Public Health issued a beach closure on Friday, June 10, and test results from water samples collected on Monday, June 13 showed bacteria levels remain elevated. Public Health collected additional water samples on Wednesday, June 15 and is awaiting results from the lab.

Public Health will continue to collect water samples at least once per week. The closure will remain in place until tests show that E. coli bacteria levels do not exceed state and US Environmental Protection Agency guidelines.

Test results and information about current advisories are available on the Public Health public beaches website. Advisory updates are also posted on the Public Health Facebook page.

Information about E. coli

E. coli is a common kind of bacteria that lives in the intestines of animals and people. The presence of E. coli in lake water indicates that the water may contain bacteria found in animal or human feces. Some of these bacteria are capable of causing severe gastrointestinal illness.

Depending on the cause, people with gastrointestinal infections may experience fever, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea beginning several hours to several days or longer after exposure. Some infections may cause bloody diarrhea.

People who experience bloody diarrhea or persistent gastrointestinal symptoms should call their physician or other health care provider.