E. coli levels and high water close Missouri beaches

Friday, July 9, 2010 | 10:18 a.m. CDT; updated 3:19 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 9, 2010

COLUMBIA — Three swimming beaches at Missouri state parks will be closed this weekend due to E. coli levels up to seven times above the Missouri Department of Natural Resources' standards.

The highest levels were found at the Gland Glaize Beach at the Lake of the Ozarks State Park. A sample pulled Tuesday was 1732.9 E. coli colonies per 100 milliliters of water, a news release from the DNR said.

The department will close beaches if a single sample is above 235 E. coli colonies per 100 milliliters, the same guideline set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Hermitage Beach at Pomme de Terre State Park and the beach at Wakonda State Park will also be closed. E. coli levels, though considerably lower than at Grand Glaize Beach, were still above the department’s standard.

The beaches will remain closed until they fall below the department standard.

Mark Twain state park beach also remains closed due to high water levels. It will remain closed until water levels have receded.

According to the release, the Public Beach #1 area and near the campground at Lake of the Ozarks State Park as well as the Pittsburg Beach swimming area at Pomme de Terre State Park will remain open for swimming.

The beach at Finger Lakes State Park, which closed June 30 after E. coli levels were found to be almost five times above the accepted standard, will also be open.

Heavy rains can also cause bacterial levels in lakes to rise, and lake users should exercise their judgment when swimming after heavy rains, the release said.

Information about all temporary closings at state parks can be found on the Missouri State Parks and Historic Sites website.

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