MINNEAPOLIS — Swimmers will have to wait at least another week to enjoy some of Minneapolis' most popular beaches.
Testing has revealed that bacteria levels are still too high on Lake Hiawatha Beach, and the 32nd Street, Thomas and North Beaches along Bde Maka Ska, to reopen them.
Those first three beaches have been closed since July 2, with North Beach joining their ranks last Tuesday, July 16. All four will remain closed at least until the week of July 29.
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According to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, the high bacteria levels were likely due to heavy rainfall that brought large amounts of storm water into the lakes.
Debra Pilger, the Director of Environmental Management for MPRB, said that every Monday during swimming season, staff tests the lakes for bacteria. As far as closures go, it's not uncommon, but it's unusual to have this many beaches closed at once.
She said that the drier the season, the fewer closures happen.
"One of the things that's happening this year, unfortunately, is the water levels are very high and those high levels will go higher up on the shore and bring in wet sand, which is more prone to be high in bacteria," Pilger, added.