You could really feel the summer heat this past weekend and the 4th of July holiday. It's the perfect time to head to a pool or one of Iowa's many beaches to cool off. But before you head to your favorite outdoor getaway, you better check this important list first.

Nothing is worse than gathering the family, heading out to a beach in the state, getting there, and discovering signs that say, "Swimming not allowed." Wait, why not? In Iowa, it's all about the quality of the water, and what may or may not be in it. The Iowa Department of Resources monitors water quality levels every week at all of the State Park beaches and many locally managed beaches, according to CBS2. They're looking for harmful bacteria like E. Coli and toxins from algae. According to the DNR site, here is how Iowa's beaches and lakes are looking as of today, July 5th.

Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Iowa Department of Natural Resources

The green dots indicate that the water at those parks continues to be O.K. for swimming. As you can see, swimming is a go at Lake McBride and Pleasant Creek Park in Palo. But, at nearby George Wyth State Park, swimming is still not recommended due to high bacteria levels.

So what can you do to avoid getting sick while swimming? CBS2 reports that you can not swim after a heavy rainfall. Don't let any of the water get into your mouth. And if you have young children, change their diapers frequently and go to the restroom often. The most common kind of bacteria that can cause E. Coli is fecal bacteria.

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