- Featured Stories
- Douglas County
- City of Ava
- General Interest
To High E. Coli Levels
JEFFERSON CITY– Swimming beaches at four Missouri state parks will be closed this weekend due to E. coli levels higher than the standard set by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
Water samples drawn Monday from the public beaches at Finger Lakes, Thousand Hills, Long Branch and Wakonda state parks showed E. coli levels in excess of the department’s standard for state park beaches.
Finger Lakes State Park beach had 1,119.9 E. coli colonies per 100 milliliters of water. Two other parks had E. coli levels considerably lower than Finger Lakes State Park, but still in excess of the department standard:
Thousand Hills State Park beach had 387.3 E. coli colonies per 100 milliliters of water.
Long Branch State Park beach had 261.3 E. coli colonies per 100 milliliters of water.
Additionally, Wakonda State Park’s recent data, when combined with previous samples, had a geometric mean of 203.3 E. coli colonies per 100 milliliters of water.
Mark Twain and Lewis and Clark state park beaches remain closed due to high water levels.
In order to provide a safer beach experience, the Department of Natural Resources will close a state park beach if a single sample is above 235 mpn/100 mL for E. coli, which is also the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s single-sample guideline for a swimming beach. The department will also close beaches at state parks if the geometric mean for E. coli, which considers previous results in addition to the current week’s results, exceeds 126 mpn/100 mL.
The six closed beaches have been posted with signs notifying visitors of the closure. The four park beaches with elevated E. coli levels will remain closed until they fall below the department standard. The two park beaches closed due to high water will remain closed until the water levels have receded.
No other state park beaches tested high for E. coli levels; however, bacterial levels often rise after heavy rains and lake users should use their judgment when swimming after heavy rains.
The latest information on beach closings at state parks is available online at http://mostateparks.com/beaches/index.asp