GAINESVILLE, Ga. — UPDATE: The beach has reopened following a test of bacteria levels in Lake Lanier on Monday. The test showed bacteria levels had returned to a safe level.

The weather is heating up, but there's one less place for you to cool off - and it's due to high bacteria levels.

Until further notice, Hall County has closed the beach at River Forks Park and Campground after the elevated bacteria levels were detected in the water on May 31. The park is located at 3500 Browns Bridge Road in Gainesville.

According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources' website, it can be difficult to trace exactly where the bacteria originates, but animal waste, storm water runoff and boating waste. And, while there isn't a huge goose population along the water, the county believes that the high bacteria levels could be due to the birds. 

If or when the beach reopens will depend on what comes from a Monday retesting of the water. If the levels come back down, the park could reopen to the public.

11Alive's Nick Sturdivant spoke to workers at the park who said the difference between last weekend and this weekend is night and day. Last weekend, the park was jam-packed for the holiday weekend. Now, it's pretty dead. 

Workers said they've been keeping an eye on the beach to make sure people visiting don't ignore the "closed" signs.

If they don't, officials say visitors could be putting themselves at risk of getting sick if they accidentally ingest the water - anything from possible stomach upset to an infection to a sore throat.


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