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Health Facts for Lake Users


Staying healthy while enjoying the lake

Recreational users at Lake ElsinoreLAKE ELSINORE is the largest natural freshwater lake in southern California.

All natural lakes play host to a wide variety of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, algae and protozoa. Most of these microorganisms are essential to a healthy aquatic ecosystem, but some are potentially harmful to human health.

Waterborne illnesses caused by certain microorganisms, or germs, can result from body contact with water found in lakes, rivers and streams. Common symptoms of waterborne illnesses include diarrhea, nausea, skin rash, and nose and throat infections.  A very rare brain infection that is usually fatal is caused by Naegleria fowleri, an amoeba found in warm freshwater and soil worldwide. See CDC Naegleria Infection fact sheets in English, Espanol.  For more information about protecting your health against Recreational Water Illnesses or RWIs, please visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention Web site.

Your Role in Water Wellness:

To help reduce contamination in the lake and the risk of infection, here are some things you can do before entering the water.

Be Prepared:

  • Read safety signs before going in the water.
  • Wade in the water waist deep from designated public beaches.
  • Nonswimmers should always wear a life jacket.
  • Wear a life jacket at all times when waterskiing, wakeboarding or riding a Personal Watercraft.
  • Keep small children within arm’s reach of an adult.
  • Shower before and after you go in the water.

Avoid Potentially Harmful Behavior & Conditions:

  • Avoid swallowing water.
  • Avoid entering the water for 72 hours after a heavy rain.
  • Avoid entering the water within 300 feet of a storm drain.
  • Avoid entering the water in areas with a green surface algae bloom.

Preventing Contamination & Other Protection Measures:

  • Take small children to the restrooms frequently.
  • Infants should be kept out of the water or wear swim diapers.
  • Properly dispose of baby diapers.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water after using the toilet or changing diapers.
  • Keep pets out of the water and properly dispose of pet waste.
  • Wear nose plugs, ear plugs and swim goggles when in the water.
  • Exit the lake if you are accidentally cut.  Wash cuts with clean water and soap.



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