E. coli warnings ignored by Saskatchewan beachgoers
Ingesting bacteria-laden water could make you sick, microbiologist says
There may be E. coli advisories in effect telling people not to swim in a number of flood-swollen Saskatchewan lakes and rivers, but it seems a lot of people either don't know or don't care.
Vlad Schevchenko was just one of the people swimming at Regina Beach yesterday, despite clearly posted signs that warned about high levels of harmful bacteria.
"I didn't read the sign before I went in and then I came out and read it," Schevchenko said. "It might be harmful. We'll see what happens."
I don't care about those signs. I'm out here to have a good time with my friends.- Stefhen Rockthunder
Stefhen Rockthunder also shrugged off the warnings that read: "Unsafe for swimming and other in-water activities".
"I don't care about those signs," he said. "I'm out here to have a good time with my friends."
Following torrential rains that overwhelmed sewer systems and caused widespread flooding, the government sampled the water at Last Mountain, Echo, Pasqua and Katepwa lakes and found too much harmful bacteria.
The same results are expected for Crooked and Round lakes.
University of Regina microbiologist Christopher Yost says where there's too much E. coli, there are usually other harmful bacteria which can make people sick.
"You would show symptoms that you might equate with food poisoning," he said. "Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea — those types of situations."
Yost said until the E. coli advisories are lifted, people should avoid swallowing water at any of the lakes where bacteria levels are high.