RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (KTHV) -- The Army Corps of Engineers Russellville Project Office has reopened the swimming area at Piney Bay Park on Lake Dardanelle. Escherichia coli bacteria levels, commonly referred to as E. coli, are within an acceptable range to allow swimming at the park. Testing will continue to ensure that E. coli levels remain within an acceptable range.
The swimming area was closed May 24 because higher than acceptable E. coli levels were found during routine testing by the Arkansas Department of Health. Corps officials believe unseasonably high temperatures and lack of rainfall were contributing factors.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports E. coli are a large and diverse group of bacteria. Although most strains are harmless, others can make people sick. Some can cause diarrhea, while others cause urinary tract infections, respiratory illness and pneumonia, and other illnesses.