High E. coli levels closes SW Arkansas swim beaches

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The Corps of Engineers, Millwood Project Office has closed Blue Ridge and Jefferson Ridge Park West Swim Beach on Dierks Lake, Coon Creek Swim Beach on Gilliam Lake and Storey Creek Swim Beach on DeQueen Lake until further notice.  

The temporary closure is the result of higher than acceptable E. coli levels that were found during routine testing conducted by the Arkansas Department of Health.  

According to Arkansas Department of Health officials, the high bacteria levels could be from a heavy amount of goose droppings. A continual challenge in dealing with residential geese is the fact that people are feeding them. 

As a result, the geese become more used to human activity and start expecting to be fed every time someone walks or drives into an area. This time of year, the geese are in the molting period so they can’t fly which also contributes to the higher concentration of geese in particular areas. Officials ask visitors to not feed the geese.

For more information on the status of other recreation areas in the DeQueen, Dierks and Gilliam lakes area call the Millwood Tri-Lakes Project Office at 870-898-3343, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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