Traverse City Record-Eagle

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June 20, 2014

State park beach water A-OK

TRAVERSE CITY — Bacteria levels are back to normal at the Keith J. Charters Traverse City State Park beach.

Elevated levels of E. coli, a bacteria found in the fecal matter of warm-blooded animals, returned to safe levels after a spike on Wednesday. Regular beach activities, including swimming, are now considered safe.

E. coli itself is harmless to people, said Tom Buss, the director of environmental health and animal control for the Grand Traverse County Health Department.

“Its presence tells us there’s a potential for harmful organisms to be present,” Buss said.

Buss said the sun on Thursday could have contributed to lower bacteria levels.

“The sun has a tendency to break down and kill the bacteria,” Buss said.

He said the high-level advisories typically last about 24 hours.

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