In reality, most Iowa state park beaches have few or no problems with fecal contamination in the form of indicator bacteria called E.coli. During the 2006 swimming season, most state park beaches had more than 50 results reported between April and October. During that time, 12 of the 37 beaches in the state had no samples exceeding state water quality standards of 235 colony forming units per 100 ml for individual samples or 126 colony forming units per 100 ml for geometric mean results (a calculation based on five consecutive weeks of samples), while another nine only had one such result. At the same time, only five beaches had consistently high bacteria levels, as illustrated in Figure 1.
- Fact Sheet