UPDATE: I spoke with Sam Pertz at Carver County Parks on 8/16 at 2PM and the net is that their beach on Lake Minnewashta is still closed. Despite the heavy rain last week, the e Coli levels have not declined. They checked the levels at the OLD boat launch and Camp Tanadoona checked theirs and they are both fine. Another sample was collected Monday night at the fishing pier by the beach and results are expected Wednesday.
NOTE that there have been NO reports of illness that Sam or I are aware of.
AUGUST 11, 2016: Lake Minnewashta Regional Park beach remained closed this week after elevated levels of E.coli were recorded in recent water samples.
Sam Pertz, Park and Trails manager for Carver County, said it was a precautionary closing and there have been no reports of illness.
The county closed the beach after two water samplings last week showed E.coli levels above safety thresholds. E.coli is a bacteria that live in the intestines of healthy people and animals and can cause abdominal cramps, diarrhea and vomiting, according to a Mayo Clinic website.
The cause of the E.coli readings were unclear, Pertz said. He noted that a large flock of geese has been at the park this summer but E.coli readings can also be affected by heat and lack of rainfall.
The county routinely takes water samples near the beaches and that’s how the elevated levels were discovered.
“We’ve taken the steps to inform the public and keep the parks safe,” Pertz said.
While Lake Minnewashta Regional Park Beach in Chanhassen hasn’t closed in recent years, Pertz said it’s not uncommon for beaches to face temporary closures. He said beaches on Lake Minnetonka have been closed in recent years and the beach at Baylor Regional Park in Norwood Young America is currently closed for algae blooms.
Another water sampling was scheduled for Tuesday at Lake Minnewashta to determine whether safety thresholds are met, Pertz said. The testing takes several days before final results are available.
Meanwhile, the beach at Lake Waconia Regional Park, which is approximately 15 minutes away from both Lake Minnewashta Park and Baylor Park, is open. Daily vehicle permits purchased at any of the park locations, or valid annual permits, provide access to any of the regional park locations in Carver County.
The rest of Lake Minnewashta Regional Park remains open.