116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — Despite this week’s heat, there is no swimming allowed in the lake at the Terry Trueblood Recreation Area because of high levels of bacteria in the water.
The city has done regular water tests at the lake, called Sand Lake, in previous summers, but this is the first time there has been a no-swim advisory due to high levels of E. coli bacteria, said Tyler Baird, superintendent of Parks & Forestry.
The lake is a popular spot for walkers, cyclists and people who want to rent paddleboards and kayaks.
“Paddleboarding and other non-swimming activities are allowed at user’s discretion,” Baird said.
E. coli is an indicator for fecal material that can carry parasites or other pathogens that sicken swimmers. It can come from geese, humans or agricultural runoff.
The bacteria standard for safe recreational waters in Iowa is based on two components: a one-time maximum standard based on a single sample and a geometric mean of five samples in a 30-day period.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources does weekly water tests at 39 state park beaches between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day. The agency reported 106 swim advisories for E. coli or microcystins last summer.
The state reported eight no-swim warnings for last week, including a bacteria advisory at Lake Macbride State Park near Solon.
Iowa City has posted signs at Sand Lake advising against swimming. The advisory will be in effect until water quality improves, the city said. Updates will be posted on the city’s Parks & Recreation website.
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