Once again we have found a story in the news linking elevated bacteria levels to heavy rains and runoff caused by heavy rains in an area. The following excerpt came from Camden County in Missouri:

Heavy rains, run-off and flooding are the most likely culprits for recent water testing results that indicated some coves and the public beaches in Lake of the Ozarks State Park had elevated levels of E.coli.

The cove testing is being done through a partnership with the Lake of the Ozarks Watershed Alliance, the Missouri Departments of Conservation and Natural Resources and AmerenUE. The samples taken at the state park are handled by DNR and are done on a weekly basis. Although sampled separately, the testing results produced some similarities when it came to E.coli levels.

According to Susanne Medley, communications director for DNR, the ongoing testing being done at Lake of the Ozarks indicates heavy rainfall events will cause a jump in the amount of E.coli found in the water.

Heavy rains were reported in the lake area throughout the late spring and early summer.
Runoff from heavy rains may transport waste found in soil from faulty septic tanks or sewer systems, wastewater treatment facilities, large concentrations of waterfowl, and animal waste and manure, she said. ( source )

Curious to know if the water in your favorite swimming hole contains dangerously unsafe bacteria levels? Use of a kit such as the Water Check Bacteria Test Kit can help.

click here for more details
Part Number: A8185

Water Check Bacteria Test Kit

Use the Water Check Pool water test kit to check for e. coli and other coliforms. Detect sewage contamination & waterborne pathogens in pool water. Protect against harmful microorganisms. Your Cost: $14.99

as always, though, keep in mind that NOTHING takes the place a water test performed by a licensed, certified water testing laboratory and that do-it-yourself bacteria test kits serve as a screening tool only.