In 2007, the Marine Sanitation Program took the responsibility of administering the Arkansas Swim Beach Program, having 140 swim beach sites. This program consists of reviewing proposed site plans for new swim beaches, conducting sanitary survey inspections, and collection of initial E. coli bacterial samples at proposed sites.
The Program also monitors all sample results submitted to the Public Health Lab and advises the State Parks Commission, Environmental Health specialists, U.S. Forest Service, both the Little Rock and Vicksburg Corps of Engineer Districts, and all private swim beaches with status of opening or closing beaches to swimmers.
The Bacteriological Standards are as follows to comply with the recommendations of EPA:
When the E. coli density of any sample collected exceeds 126 per 100 ml. daily samples shall immediately be collected and analyzed for E. coli for at least two consecutive E. coli samples.
Should unforeseen conditions such as high water levels due to heavy rain prevent the collection of samples, you may submit in either of the weeks scheduled for resamples.
Swim Beach E.coli levels that reach this level are usually a result of:
- Resident Canada Goose Population using the managed Swim Beach area for grazing. They often eat the seed head of the grasses on the bank. Campers feeding the Geese can make the situation worse by keeping the Geese attracted to the area
- Feral Swine have a E.coli level and all 75 counties have been identified with a Feral Swine population.
- In some cases the High levels could be produced from humans and/or other animals
Rules and Regs