The summer sun beckons you to get outside and have some fun. Yet, every year seems to bring new stories about people getting sick after they go swimming in a natural body of water. While lakes aren’t chlorinated like your community pool might be, you don’t have to opt out of enjoying a dip in your favorite local swimming hole. Being smart about how and when you swim is all it takes to stay as safe as possible during your aquatic activities this summer.
Watch For the Signs of Unsafe Lake Water
Lake water is exposed to runoff from storms along with temperature changes that can all impact the delicate ecosystem in and around the water. Pollutants, toxic algae and hazardous bacteria are a few of the potential things that could be lurking in the water that might make you sick.
Sometimes, you can tell if the lake water is unsafe just by giving it a good look. Toxic algae blooms can cause discoloration and murkiness in the water. You might also see a large amount of algae growing in the water or along the shoreline. When algae levels are high, you can experience stomach or respiratory distress. Waiting until the water clears up is best in this instance.
You’ll also want to watch out for water that is hotter than normal. While a warm lake won’t necessarily cause you harm, it can increase the amount of bacteria that exists in the water. Swallowing the bacteria as you swim could also make you sick.
The final thing to check is the overall health of the fish in the lake. Seeing a large amount of fish die-off is a major warning sign. If the fish can’t survive in the water, then you have to wonder if there is something in the water that could also affect your health.
Take Extra Precautions As You Swim
Even when the water looks great, you’ll want to follow a few basic safety practices. For example, you’ll need to avoid swimming when you have an open wound that could allow bacteria to enter your body and cause an infection. It is also best to keep your eyes closed when you swim and avoid getting water in your nose and mouth.
After you go swimming, make sure to shower and monitor yourself for symptoms. If you feel sick within a few days after swimming, then visit the doctor and let them know you recently enjoyed a day at the lake.
Clear Up Potential Lake Water Hazards
For the safest swimming experience, you’ll want to have a professional monitor the lake water. Lake management companies in Florida have the know-how that is necessary to identify potential hazards to human health that could exist in the water. If a problem is found, then they can recommend a solution for helping to ensure that everyone who swims in the lake stays safe.
The allure of a sparkling lake is hard to resist, and there is no reason why anyone should have to opt out of a refreshing dip. While the health of lake water can change within a short period of time, it is also possible to treat the issue quickly when you identify its source. Making lake management a priority means that you’ll be able to feel comfortable as you swim with your friends and family this summer.
At Crosscreek Environmental, we believe in providing a comprehensive, environmentally friendly approach in creating solutions to maintain the beauty and health of Florida's ponds, lakes, wetlands, and shorelines. We use the B.E.S.T.™ geo-tube solution and are one of the best geo-tube solution providers in the state of Florida.