E. Coli levels high at Branched Oak Lake

Nebraska officials say the E. coli level is too high at Branched Oak Lake. The lake is near Raymond, northwest of Lincoln.

The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality says routine tests last week showed the relatively high level of E. coli, prompting the warning not to drink the lake water.

The lake has not been closed for swimming or other recreation. The bacteria can cause stomach illness. E. coli are present in the excrement of wildlife, livestock and humans.

State officials aren't sure why the level is so high but note that the E. coli presence can jump when heavy rain increases runoff into a body of water.