State Agency Urges Labor Day Holiday Weekend Safety On Lakes, Rivers

Thursday, August 30th 2012, 11:26 am
By: News On 6

With this being the Labor Day holiday weekend the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality is cautioning those planning a trip to the state's many lakes, rivers, or streams to be cautious.

The DEQ says certain bacteria, viruses and protozoa can be present in untreated bodies of water. And some of these microorganisms occur naturally while others are carried into surface waters from a variety of sources.

Some of these microorganisms are harmful and can cause mild problems such as ear infection or relatively rare but serious conditions such as eye infections and some forms of meningitis.

In July, the state Department of Health said a young boy died from a waterborne illness caught while swimming in the Red River.

7/31/2012 Related Story: Bryan County Child Dies Of Illness Caught While Swimming In River

The DEQ says swimmers should pay close attention to water conditions. Also, it is important to pay attention to posted signs when swimming in any body of untreated water. Another big concern is green algae.

8/26/2012 Related Story: Blue-Green Algae Advisories In Effect For Some Oklahoma Lakes

The state Department of Tourism suggests boaters and swimmers check out the web site before heading out this holiday weekend.

The DEQ also suggests:

  • Hold nose or wear nose plugs when jumping into the water
  • Wash open skin cuts and scrapes with clean soap and water immediately after swimming
  • Avoid swallowing water when swimming
  • Wear ear plugs to prevent ear infections
  • Wear swim goggles or masks to prevent eye infections
  • Avoid swimming near storm drains (pipes that drain polluted water from streets)
  • Take children to the restroom frequently/Use swim diapers on infants
  • Stay away from any area that has floating debris, stagnant water, oil sheens or dead fish