ODEQ Awaits Water Samples After String Of Reported Rashes At Lake Eufaula

Thursday, June 30th 2022, 6:10 pm

LAKE EUFAULA, Oklahoma -

The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality is testing the water at Lake Eufaula after several swimmers reported breaking out in rash. 

One post to social media over the weekend showed the red irritated skin. 

The author of the post says she developed the rash after spending time in the lake. She also claims 47 others have the same. 

The post was met with a flood of comments from people with two things in common, a similar rash and a recent visit to the lake. 

“DEQ did go out because we did have these reports,” says Oklahoma DEQ spokesperson, Erin Hatfield. “We worked with the Corps of Engineers which manages Lake Eufaula and went out and took samples in various parts of the lake.” 

The samples were brought back for analysis, but the results are not expected until week’s end. 

“We have no idea yet if those rashes that have been reported on Lake Eufaula are related to the water,” says Hatfield. “We just don’t know yet.” 

Regardless of the findings, DEQ recommends general precautions for anyone hoping to beat the heat in untreated Oklahoma waters. 

The list of tips includes avoiding areas that look stagnant, wearing goggles, putting little kids in swim diapers and most importantly showering quickly after getting out. 

“As you get further into the summer, you have less rain and water has had time to become still and stagnant,” Hatfield points out. “That is where there’s a potential for possibly more bacteria to grow and for there to be some issues.” 

Here is the full list of ODEQ recommendations: 

Choose swimming areas carefully 

  1. Pay attention to signage about water conditions 
  2. Stay away from any area that has stagnant water, floating debris, scum, oil sheen, or dead fish 
  3. Avoid swimming near storm drains 
  4. Do not swim in flooded areas 

Take simple precautions 

  1. Hold nose or wear nose plugs when jumping into the water 
  2. Avoid swallowing water when swimming 
  3. Wear ear plugs to prevent ear infections 
  4. Wear swim goggles or masks to prevent eye infections 
  5. Wash skin with soap and water after swimming 

Prevent spread of illness to others 

  1. Take children to the restroom frequently 
  2. Use swim diapers on infants 
  3. Rinse off prior to entering the water 
  4. Avoid swimming if you are ill