Water recreation ‘no longer discouraged’ at Marion Reservoir

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports that swimming, wading and skiing are no longer discouraged at Marion Reservoir as the Fourth of July weekend approaches.

Even so, a recent news release reports, “the Marion Reservoir staff is continuing to support the multi-agency Water Quality Task Force created to address ongoing water-quality issues.”

“The worries about blue-green algae have diminished,” stated the release from the Corps office at the reservoir. “However, one should be aware of the potential that any lake, river or stream carries bacteria, viruses, protozoa and other microorganisms.”

Many of those organisms are normally found in any natural water source and are part of a healthy ecosystem, the Corps reported.

“This is a good thing. And yet it is also possible that contamination may come from ineffective septic systems, runoff from animal and wildfowl areas, fertilizers or swimmers. Because of the chance for E. coli bacteria contamination, swim beaches are sampled at Marion Reservoir for public safety.”

The Corps stated, “The local community has learned from this experience and future water-quality issues will be realized from this exposure.

“Marion Reservoir continues to be an outstanding resource of outdoor recreation and a source of community pride. Community stewardship of this resource has always been a priority and will always be so.”

Anticipating “many visitors” for the Fourth of July weekend, the Corps released the following precautions about boating, swimming or camping at any natural lake:

Avoid swimming in polluted water.

Avoid swimming in stagnant (unmoving) water.

Avoid swimming in water with a temperature greater than 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Avoid swimming in water with a green surface scum.

Avoid swimming after a heavy rain.

Avoid swimming near storm drains.

Avoid swallowing water while swimming.

Hold nose or wear nose plugs when jumping into water.

Wear ear plugs and swim goggles.

Wash cuts and scrapes with clean water and soap.

Shower before and after swimming.

Take children to the restroom frequently.

Use swim diapers on infants.

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