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Horseshoe Lake reopens

"Horseshoe Lake is open once again to would-be swimmers because E. coli bacteria levels there receded to acceptable standards last week, say Bremerton-Kitsap County Health officials.The level of E. coli bacteria could exceed acceptable standards again, though, warned Scott Daniels, a water quality and on-site sewage specialist with the health district. We routinely test Horseshoe Lake every week because it is a higher-risk area for the bacteria.In other words, the lake and beach are open until further notice.Health officials figure a flock of Canada geese, known to roam the area, are to blame for the contamination. Though the health district didn't do anything to tamp down the bacteria over the last few days or rid the area of the geese, E. coli levels continued to recede.Daniels said intense sunlight probably created a die-off effect, and knocked out much of the bacteria, which are used to indicate the presence of human and animal fecal material.This material contains other pathogenic organisms that can cause illness in humans. These illnesses include hepatitis A, as well as eye, ear and skin infections. A swimmer's itch advisory is still in place at Horseshoe Lake, however. For more information on beach closures, or swimmers' itch advisories, call the health district at 692-3611."

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