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Paraguay begins cleanup of contaminated Yparacai lake that is top tourist attraction

  • Isidro Gomez works with others to set up a barrier to close off water near the shore of Ypacarai Lake, a main tourist attraction for Paraguay, in Aregua, Paraguay, Monday, Nov. 18. 2013.  Experts began cleaning the lake on Monday, saying that in about a month a section of it will be ready for swimmers, but that the water will not yet be safe to drink. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)

    Isidro Gomez works with others to set up a barrier to close off water near the shore of Ypacarai Lake, a main tourist attraction for Paraguay, in Aregua, Paraguay, Monday, Nov. 18. 2013. Experts began cleaning the lake on Monday, saying that in about a month a section of it will be ready for swimmers, but that the water will not yet be safe to drink. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)  (The Associated Press)

  • Workers set up tubes that will process silt and water from the Ypacarai Lake in Aregua, Paraguay, Monday, Nov. 18. 2013. Experts began cleaning the lake on Monday, saying that in about a month a section of it will be ready for swimmers, but that the water will not yet be safe to drink. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)

    Workers set up tubes that will process silt and water from the Ypacarai Lake in Aregua, Paraguay, Monday, Nov. 18. 2013. Experts began cleaning the lake on Monday, saying that in about a month a section of it will be ready for swimmers, but that the water will not yet be safe to drink. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Nov. 18, 2013 photo, Dae-Hwan Ryu, from a group of Korean experts starting the clean up of Ypacarai lake, talks to journalists at the lake in Aregua, Paraguay.  Paraguay has started to clean up a contaminated lake that is among the South American country's top tourist attractions. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)

    In this Nov. 18, 2013 photo, Dae-Hwan Ryu, from a group of Korean experts starting the clean up of Ypacarai lake, talks to journalists at the lake in Aregua, Paraguay. Paraguay has started to clean up a contaminated lake that is among the South American country's top tourist attractions. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)  (The Associated Press)

Paraguay has started to clean up a contaminated lake that is among the South American country's top tourist attractions.

A group of Korean experts began work in the Ypacarai lake in San Bernardino, near the capital of Asuncion. Nearby residents complain that the polluted lake emits a strong foul smell and they can no longer drink its waters infested with bacteria.

About 9,500 local people used to drink, cook and bathe using water from the lake. Now some use government-supplied bottled water. Others have started to dig wells looking for fresh water.