Jordan Lemay and Melanie Hoffman are friends who love spending their free time at the beach. Jordan has been a regular on Burlington beaches for four years.
"It's definitely a fun place," said Jordan.
And Melanie is experiencing her first summer here.
"It seems really clear compared to other beaches I've been to," said Melanie.
But when they learned the government has raised the acceptable level of E. coli contanimination in the water, both girls called that "gross."
"I definitely won't go in past like my waist or just like putting water on cuz I don't really know what's going on, but I definitely don't want to end up drinking the water or anything like that," said Lemay.
"It's not something I really know anything about but it just sounds bad," said Hoffman.
The Vermont Health Department had used a standard of 77 colony forming units of E. coli in water tests. Anything above that and the water was deemed unsafe for swimmers. Now the state has tripled the acceptable level to 235 colony forming units.
"We changed our number from 77 to 235 to be consistent with what the EPA recommends, and there's a very minimal increase in health risks between the two numbers," said Sarah Vose with the health department.
Vose says the 77 CFU number correlated to a certain risk and incident rate of people getting sick from ecoli. But the EPA found that the rate of illness was no higher at 235.
"The actual number going up doesn't really affect people's health in any way. So if anything, it's going to make their summers better because they'll be able to swim in beaches that previously would have been closed," said Vose.
If you have any doubts about water quality in lakes and ponds, Vose says stick to managed public swimming areas since the state regularly tests those areas for contaimination.
Thursday, May 23 2013 6:23 PM EDT2013-05-23 22:23:50 GMT
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Four colleges, including Dartmouth, are now facing federal complaints over their handling of rape allegations. Other colleges facing complaints include Swarthmore College, University of Southern California,More >>
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