The beach at Don Carter State Park ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland
Several prominent new sources are reporting that high levels of bacteria in samples taken near Don Carter State Park have prompted a temporary warning that swimming at the park should be avoided.
We have not heard from our usual source for this information, Public Affairs Coordinator for Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites Kim Hatcher.
So, we contacted the park’s assistant manager, Steven Emery for details. He confirmed that the park and beach are open — contrary to many news reports — but that there a warning against wading and swimming at the park due to high levels of bacteria found in samples taken at the park.
Those samples were taken after heavy rains in the area.
This message was posted on the Don Carter State Park website:
The park’s swimming beach is under advisory. While the beach is open for use, swimming or wading is not recommended due to high bacteria levels found during routine water-quality testing. This advisory will be lifted when additional water-testing results return to standard levels.
Kim Hatcher has been quoted as saying, “We can’t be sure where this came from because E. coli can come from a number of sources, both human and animal. Having to close beaches is rare but has occurred in the past at other parks.”
Stephen Emery also told us, “the bacteria could come from a variety of sources — human or animal. We cannot be positive of the source.”