Be aware of risks associated with swimming in rivers and lakes

Jul 3, 2019

While places along the San Gabriel River like Blue Hole as well as Lake Georgetown are popular summertime destinations, those using these natural water bodies should be aware of potential risks. Stormwater runoff flowing into our rivers and lakes often contains bacteria and other organisms, especially after rainfall.

During the summer months, warmer temperatures can lead to higher levels of bacteria in our rivers, streams, and in Lake Georgetown. Some of the highest levels of bacteria and other organisms can be found in areas where the river current slows or pools due to natural barriers or dams. Slow-moving water combined with higher temperatures can allow organisms to multiply in the water.

Swallowing natural water while swimming or diving or exposing cuts or open eyes to natural water can lead to a variety of illnesses or skin conditions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more information about how to avoid recreational water illnesses.

If you have questions about health-related problems which you suspect may be the result of recreation in natural waters, or you would like more information, contact the Williamson County and Cities Health District at or call 512-943-3660.

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