Iowa beaches under advisories due to pollution

Via Flickr.

Eleanor Hildebrandt | August 17, 2021

More than a dozen state and federal beaches in Iowa are currently under “swimming not recommended” advisories due to bacterial pollution.

The beaches under new advisories are spread out across the state, with four in the southwest corner of the state and the other eight on the eastern half. 10 of the beaches were already under these advisories, but three were added on Friday. The advisories stem from high fecal bacteria levels in the water. The bacterial levels mean its likely that individuals who enter the water can catch pathogens. The bacteria can also harm animals.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ website said children, the elderly, and individuals with weakened immune systems have an increased risk of illness if they swim in contaminated waters. No beaches have been closed for the levels of fecal bacteria. Beaches also have not been put under advisories for toxic algae.

The risks of the water at these 13 beaches include intestinal illness and infection. The change in advisories comes a few weeks after the Iowa DNR issued a dozen toxic beach warnings. These warnings came from microcystin, a toxin produced by blue-green algae blooms in a body of water.

The Iowa DNR regularly tests beach water from Memorial Day to Labor Day to diagnose water contaminants.