Archive for July, 2012


Amid concerns and questions from several readers, KLPW asked both state and federal officials about the water quality for swimming and public use, both in general and with regard to recent applications of herbicides to squelch the growing hydrilla problem.

Below is a direct reply from the USACE manager of Kerr Lake who KLPW asked two questions: 1) Is Kerr Lake safe for swimming and interaction with the water and 2) are the chemicals sprayed for hydrilla harmful?  Here are the answers:

1) Yes, Kerr Lake is safe for swimming. There are no health advisories/warnings issued from the state regarding swimming in Kerr Lake. The Corps tests for Fecal Coliform (E. Coli) at all of our swim beaches. This testing is not a state standard or requirement but rather a Corps policy to ensure the health of our visitors. VADEQ and NCDENR are responsible for monitoring overall water quality in the reservoir. They sample dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature, bacteria, heavy metals in fish tissue, etc. and issue any health advisories accordingly.

2) Are the chemicals sprayed for hydrilla in any way harmful to human? All chemicals have EPA approved application guidelines and if applied accordingly by a certified applicator they will not pose human or environmental hazards. Once a herbicide is diluted according to label instructions for application into an aquatic environment, herbicides labeled for aquatic use are considered safe by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Michael T. Womack
Operations Project Manager
John H. Kerr Reservoir

Posted in: KLPW - Camping Safety, KLPW - MAIN NEWS, KLPW - Water Safety

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Citizen Irate About Chemical Spraying for Hydrilla

The following post was submitted by Tom O’Neal in response to the Kerr Lake State Recreation Manager’s action to recently spray hydrilla infested waters off the shore of some Kerr Lake boat ramps and recreation areas.

“Great idea Bryce. Spraying poison into Kerr Lake so little Johnny and little Susie can go swim in it. I surely would not let my kids swim in poisoned water that some government agent said was safe. It really amazes me that people want this spraying to occur so they can swim it and maybe later catch and eat a few fish that survived the poison. It is bad enough the amount of chemicals and pollutant in our streams and lakes without the state spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to put more chemicals in our waters.
So all you happy campers and lake home owners enjoy the poison and don’t worry ’cause Bryce and the Kerr Lake State Recreation Area “leaders” are taking good care of you.”

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7/9/2012 6:13 PM Janet wrote:
“Would you say the water in Kerr Lake is clean for swimming? What is it tested for?

We are having a big event there and I want to feel secure that people will not get sick from swimming there. Thanks!”


We received these email questions from Janet P and quite honestly, we don’t know who tests the water in Kerr Lake for what? So we will ask the Corps of Engineers and NC State Parks.

Answers will be posted as soon as we get them!

If you’d like to ask a question or post a comment, just send it to Click on the sidebar to be informed when new info is posted on this blog.

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