High E. coli levels close swimming beach at Finger Lakes State Park

Thursday, July 22, 2010 | 9:52 p.m. CDT; updated 1:42 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 23, 2010

COLUMBIA — The public swimming beaches at Finger Lakes State Park are closed this weekend because of high E. coli levels.

Levels at the park were about six times higher than the Missouri Department of Natural Resources' standard, according to a department news release.

Sources of E. coli in bodies of water

  • Development runoff
  • Direct release of untreated sewage
  • Leaking sewage pipes
  • Storm sewers carrying animal feces directly into streams
  • Improperly maintained septic systems

Droppings from:

  • Sea gulls
  • Waterfowl
  • Domesticated animals
  • Wild animals

More information:

Related Articles

A sample taken Monday showed about 1,400 E. coli colonies per 100 milliliters of water. The department closes a beach at a state park if this number is more than 235, according to a news release.

Beaches at Finger Lakes were also closed late last month by the department because of high E. coli levels.

"When we see an E. coli event like this, or an elevated E. coli level, typically we think there must have been heavy rainfall," said Judd Slivka, department of natural resources spokesman.

He said this was true for this and last month's closure. Slivka said rainfall acts as a medium that carries the bacteria from a number of other sources into the water.

Along with Finger Lakes, public beaches at several other parks are closed this weekend because of high E. coli levels:

Like what you see here? Become a member.

Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Mike Smith July 23, 2010 | 8:00 a.m.

Friends at the Missourian,

I'd be interested to know what the cause of the high levels of E. coli at Fingers Lake. There is no sewage overflow there, to my knowledge. The DNR spokesperson said that rainfall was the reason. Is it that there is so much animal waste in the park that when it rains it runs into the lakes?

Just curious.



(Report Comment)
Stephanie Murphy July 23, 2010 | 9:48 a.m.

Good morning Mike,

I looked into your question for you but I did not find information specific to Finger Lakes. It seems that E. coli can be found in bodies of water for a few reasons, maybe even a combination of those reasons. We have attached an infobox to the above story for more information.

Thank you for your comment,
Stephanie Murphy
General Assignment Summer Reporter

(Report Comment)

Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.