No picnic: 28 Ohio beaches contaminated with E. coli

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Officials say more than two dozen beaches across Ohio are contaminated with E. coli.

The Columbus Dispatch reports 28 of Ohio’s 134 public beaches were under bacteria advisories Wednesday, with 21 of those beaches located on Lake Erie.

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E. coli can be caused by sewage overflows, geese and gull feces and failing home-septic systems. The bacteria can result in diarrhea, vomiting and stomach cramps if ingested.

Advisories are issued in Ohio when E. coli levels pass 235 colonies per 100 milliliters of water, in accordance with federal standards. The Ohio Department of Health posts advisories in such cases, but officials say the beaches will remain open.

An Ohio Department of Natural Resources spokesman says the agency is working to limit bacteria levels by dredging and by controlling geese populations.