Re “Folsom Lake and Lake Natoma had high E. coli readings. Should the public be warned?” (sacbee.com, Oct. 11): E.coli are good bacteria found in the intestines of all mammals. They keep us healthy, aiding in digestion and producing vitamins for our bodies. These E.coli are harmless bacteria used as an indicator for fecal contamination. When found in lakes and rivers, they should not to be confused with the E.coli found in undercooked hamburger that can kill. Although E.coli have the same name, so do all Homo sapiens. It is like confusing your doctor with a murderer on the street. Good E.coli levels rise in waterways when there is an abundance of fecal material present from runoff into our lakes and rivers. This occurs dramatically after the first rain, especially in areas where there is an abundance of geese and dogs. As a rule, I will not swim or kayak within a week of the first rain, not because of E.coli, but because of the other fecal-borne microbes that may have come along with it that can make you sick.
Susanne Lindgren, Sacramento
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