High Temps Can Create Perfect Breeding Conditions for Bacteria in Lakes

Updated: 07/23/2013 6:26 AM KSTP.com By: Ellen Galles

We're heading into some of the hottest weeks of summer, which can also be some of the most bacteria-prone weeks of summer when it comes to our rivers and lakes.

Bacteria produces faster and lives longer in hot weather like this. Some cities, like Minneapolis, test water at public beaches on a regular basis. Some cities only test if there's a problem reported.

Most lake water is safe, and so is exposure to low levels of bacteria. But levels can change hour by hour and can differ from one place in the lake to another. 

Anything from pets, to wildlife to rain can cause bacteria levels to rise and fall.

Health experts say as a precaution cover any cuts before entering the water, shower before and after, avoid swimming 24 hours after a major rain event and always avoid swallowing lake water.