Bacteria Levels in Wirth Lake Cause Temporary Closure
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board announced Tuesday that Wirth Lake Beach will be temporarily closed due to increased levels of E. coli bacteria.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board announced that Wirth Lake Beach will be closed due to a rise in E. coli bacteria levels. The current levels exceed state guidelines.
The Wirth Beach announcement comes on the heels of other beach closures due to bacteria, including the closure of Plymouth's Medicine Lake beach in French Park last week.
"The temporary, late-season rise in bacteria levels at Wirth Beach is likely due to the increased amount of birds at the lake since the start of the migration season," Dawn Sommers, communications and marketing manager for the park board, said in the statement.
According to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, no illnesses have been reported and monitoring the levels of E. coli is routine.
On the board's website, posted bacteria levels for Aug. 27 were 1,986.5. According to state guidelines, any result over 1,260 will cause a beach closure.
"This rarely occurs," Sommers told Patch. "It's just a weird spike. This is the first time this year that we have had to close this beach."
In drinking water, bacteria levels are zero. As a comparison, on June 4, Wirth Lake's levels bacteria levels were only four.
Sommers noted that regular beach-goers can drive to nearby Cedar Lake beach, adding that all other Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board public beaches are open.
Officials will take another water sample on Aug. 29 and the beach will re-open when E. coli levels return to normal.