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E. coli in Lake Michigan more common this summer than last

Many people have been heading to the beaches for the holiday, but on Tuesday, the beach at the warren dunes closed due to high E. coli levels.

Officials at the Warren Dunes claimed that E. coli likely came from the clay pits and creek that runs through the park and washes out into Lake Michigan. The Berrien County Health Department does the water testing, and says heavy rain causes runoff, which washes feces and bacteria into the creek and lake. The health department will issue advisories if the E. coli levels are high enough to cause sickness when ingested. They will then test the water daily until levels are low again.

There have already been high levels of E. coli at Lions Park Beach and Michiana Beach this summer. That already adds up to more instances than last summer. Gillian Conrad of the Berrien Co. Health Dept. says that they cannot pinpoint the exact cause because the lake water is always moving around, but they think it has to do with amount of rainfall and storms the area has had this summer. Conrad recalls less instances of high E. coli levels in 2017, and also less heavy rainfall events.

If you are ever planning a beach day to Lake Michigan, check here for a list of current advisories before you make the trip.

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