Lake Eola has overflown her banks in downtown Orlando and as a result, the park itself has become part of the lake. For a while, before residents started venturing out of their downtown apartments, it was an idyllic Florida scene of ibis and pelicans shaking off the stress of the storm and enjoying the new environs, swans were dotted around waving their long necks like brontosaurus from the opening scenes of the only good Jurassic Park film (the first one).

But then a bunch of young men started swimming in the lake and we felt the need to remind you all, once again, that it’s against the law to swim in Lake Eola.

The last time we wrote about this was in 2019, HERE, when a crazy man decided to swim out to the fountain. Because he was crazy. At that time, Sgt. David Baker, with the Orlando Police Department, took the time to share with us that swimming in Lake Eola is a misdemeanor violation of a City of Orlando ordinance.

We spoke with a local judge who told us that violating this specific code will likely result in the offender being targeted for a mental evaluation and a number of fines; $100 plus court-mandated costs, or about $500 total. With the added request that they pay $20 a month towards the fine.

Lake Eola is kind of filthy and is treated as “contaminated waters” if anyone comes into contact with it, including City employees, will need to be tested for contaminants. That’s on a normal day when it’s not full of stormwater runoff from a hurricane, which can bring with it all sorts of complications including hepatitis.

The fountain also has a 3,000-pound underwater intake pump that sucks in water from below and pumps it 60 feet into the air at timed intervals throughout the day. That pump is so powerful, that it could easily pull a swimmer underwater and drown them if they get too close to the fountain.

So, don’t swim in Lake Eola. And definitely don’t swim in it after a hurricane.

Brendan O'Connor

Editor in Chief of

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  1. This brings up so many questions. Why aren’t we doing anything about it’s level of contamination? How does that affect the swans and other wildlife? Do those pumps harm the wildlife?