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UPDATE: Water quality at Princess, North Arizona Telephone coves on Lake Mohave back to normal

Officials: Bacteria problem caused by people dumping sewage
Posted at 4:53 PM, Jul 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-13 01:37:39-04

UPDATE AUG. 12: Water quality levels at North Arizona Telephone Cove on Lake Mohave have returned to normal. And the swim advisory at the location has been lifted.

Currently, there are no swim advisories on Lake Mead or Lake Mohave, according to the National Park Service.

UPDATE AUG. 5: Water quality levels at Arizona’s Princess Cove on Lake Mohave have returned to normal, according to National Park Service officials.

The swim advisory at this location has been lifted.

The North Arizona Telephone Cove swim advisory remains in place on Lake Mohave in Arizona. Bacterial levels are declining, but additional monitoring is required for public health and safety.

Currently, there are no other swim advisories on Lake Mead or Lake Mohave.

NPS says to help keep the lakes clean by using designated restrooms and dumping RV and sewage at the park’s free sanitation stations.

LAKE MOHAVE (KTNV)-- Lake Mohave has reported an increase in bacterial levels and issued a swim advisory. Upstream at Lake Mead, park officials say they are not seeing the same issue.

Bacterial levels in water samples Princess Cove and North Arizona Telephone Cove on Lake Mohave exceeded local, state and National Park Service standards for recreational activity.

According to the National Park Service, increases in bacterial levels like this are often caused when people dump RV or vessel sewage tanks in the water.

Visitors should avoid contact with these waters, until further notice.

“The two bacteria that we found right now is fecal coliform and enterococci and the health risks associated with that could be gastrointestinal issues as well as eye, ear and nose infections. So it’s important to stay out of the water, but that’s why the water quality sampling so we can ensure that the park and the water are safe for everybody,” said Christie Vanover, public information officer for the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

While this is not currently an issue at Lake Mead, some visitors were shocked to hear someone would do this at another park.

“When you go to the bathroom in your house, you don’t dump it outside you, it goes down the toilet, it goes to a secure place and they do something with it. When you dump it in your lakes and local rivers, you create bad bacteria and is bad for the environment,” said Shane Newman.

His family is visiting him from California and drove an RV to travel and enjoy the park.

“It’s a long journey a lot of times and is exhausting. A lot of people don’t want to dump it right, but it’s still very important for them to do it and not just take the shortcut and the easy routes because that’s when things get messed up and not just for them but, for everybody else and you don’t want to ruin everybody else’s time,” said Newman.

There are free dump stations available at all park campgrounds and in the marina.

Park officials say that if a visitor sees or suspects illegal dumping, they should call 911 immediately.