E. coli advisory for local swimming spot

. - A disappointing start to the holiday weekend for some military families who were hoping to swim in a shallow part of Lake Moultrie.

A recreation area called "Short Stay," affiliated with Joint Base Charleston, reported its swimming area failed to meet health department standards for the bacteria E. coli.

Short Stay posted the following on its Facebook post Thursday "The designated swim area will be closed this weekend. It will be swim at your own risk. The beach will remain OPEN for those who want to come out. The lake water failed to meet SCDHEC standards for e-coli and thus it will remain closed until we test and pass again next Tuesday. Sorry for any inconvenience."
A Joint Base Charleston spokesperson said a private company tested the swimming area again Thursday morning, anticipating holiday weekend crowds. Those results won't be ready for a few days.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, Recreational Water Illnesses are spread by "swallowing, breathing in the mists or aerosols from, or having contact with contaminated water in swimming pools, water parks, hot tubs, interactive fountains, water play areas, lakes, rivers, or oceans."
A spokesperson for the S.C. Dept. of Health released the following statement:
"Operators of natural swim areas around the state have the authority to close on their own, after receiving lab confirmation of elevated sample results. These operators also have the authority to reopen after satisfactory sampling results are obtained. The testing is performed by a private lab -- not DHEC. Staff in our regional office are in touch with the operators, and we're being kept abreast of their findings. However, situations at natural swim areas change as quickly as new lab results come in. Therefore, it's always best to contact the operators of a natural swim area in advance, to ensure
it is open for recreation."

A DHEC representative said the department has not been notified of any other areas of Lake Moultrie being under an advisory at this time.

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