By far the most common reason for beach closings is E. coli. E. coli is found in animal feces and makes its way into our lakes and ponds through rainwater runoff. People who ingest E. coli or related bacteria by swallowing water can experience stomach cramps and diarrhea. Many public swimming areas are monitored for E. coli, and beaches are closed if the number of E. coli colonies is too high. To learn more about E. coli, follow the links on the left side of this page.