CLEAR LAKE, Iowa - You'll want to think twice before swimming at two North Iowa state parks.
According to the Iowa DNR's water quality monitoring map, swimming is not recommended at McIntosh Woods State Park in Ventura, and Beeds Lake State Park in Hampton. That's because water samples are testing higher than the state standard for e. Coli levels.
Just last Friday, a second grader from Polk County died from the bacteria, though it is currently unknown where she was exposed to it.
John Lagios swam at McIntosh when he was 15, and accidentally swallowed some contaminated water, which resulted in him falling gravely ill and being rushed to the hospital.
He advises swimmers to heed warnings, especially younger children.
"It can happen, especially if you're young. I was 15 and a pretty tough kid, I guess. I was a football player and stuff like that. But at that time, I was 15, and she wasn't 15, and I feel bad for her and her family for that reason, because I know what my family had to go through," Lagios said. "I think recently they've been warning quite a bit about swimming and stuff, but I would definitely heed the warnings. I can't begin to tell you how terrible it was. I couldn't eat or swallow for a couple weeks."
The state standard is 126 colony forming units of bacteria per 100 mL of water.