E. coli levels drop, advisories lifted at West Lakes

NOBLE COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) The embattled West Lakes chain has been cleared for activities after a summer of spiked E. coli levels forced officials to close it.

Noble County Emergency Management Director Mick Newton said Tuesday that the Noble County Department of Health has lifted the advisory on the lakes chain after a water sample taken Monday showed E. coli levels were acceptable. All restrictions and advisories for the popular Jones Lake and Waldron Lake chain have now been removed.

Earlier this summer, the West Lakes Association tested the lake water amid contamination concerns from summer flooding and found E. coli levels spiked to more than four times the safe limit. That effectively forced the closure of Waldron Lake.

The search for E. coli contamination at Waldron Lake was quickly narrowed to a three areas of the lake, and the Noble County Board of Health and the Noble County Emergency Management Agency began work to identify potential sources of contamination based on the flow patterns from previous tests.

Last week, though, Newton said the Noble County Health Department was continuing to work to identify the source of E. coli flowing into Jones and Waldron lakes. He said that test results from samples came back still high, mainly in the same area along the north shore of Waldron Lake near the channel between Jones Lake and Waldron Lake.

Newton said a private line from a home in that area, though, was found to have a break in it, and after repairing it officials the high readings would drop.

They have.

The all-clear comes days after the Indiana Department of Natural Resources on Friday lifted boating restrictions on the West Lakes chain that had been in place most of the summer due to high water.

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