Bacteria Levels Reach Record High At Buckeye Lake

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Authorities say harmful bacteria levels have reached record levels at a popular central Ohio lake.

Swimming advisories were issued for two beaches at Buckeye Lake east of Columbus after E. coli levels reached record highs this month. It's one of the state's largest inland lakes and a popular summer destination.

Both of the beaches remain open despite tests in early July showing E. coli levels more than 40 times higher than the federal safety threshold for swimming.

Mary Clifton, recreation programs administrator for the Ohio Department of Health, tells The Columbus Dispatch that the state doesn't want to shut down the beaches. Officials would rather let visitors decide for themselves whether to use the lake.

Sewage overflows, failing home septic systems and geese feces contribute to the problems.