An E. coli outbreak in Otisfield has closed the town beach on Pleasant Lake until further notice.
Anne Pastore, the town's administrative assistant, said that reports of sickened swimmers were received Tuesday and that by Wednesday, test samples proved positive for the presence of E. coli bacteria in the water.
"Someone had heard that there were several children that had all gotten sick, and their parents kind of all figured out it was within a relatively short time after swimming out at beach at Pleasant Lake, and they all seemed to have the same symptoms which was diarrhea and fever and maybe a little vomiting," Pastore said.
Pastore said reports of similar outbreaks have been reported in Bridgton and other western Maine swimming spots. She said water quality officials suspect that geese and ducks are likely responsible for the outbreak that should abate after a few more periods of rain and windy weather.
"So I'm hoping that she will call me tomorrow and say that we can open our beach again," Pastore said. "I am hearing other local lakes and ponds are closing, also because of the same reason and I believe that it's all due to no rain, very very low water at Pleasant Beach this year."