COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
A mix of good weather and Memorial Day weekend has made lakes a popular Missouri destination over the weekend. Thankfully for swimmers, all Missouri state park beaches are open.
According to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources website, all 18 beaches on its state-wide map are open to visitors. Each area has a green flag, signifying the water’s bacteria levels have been sampled and have a normal and safe amount for swimmers.
That includes Finger Lakes State Park beach, which had about fifty visitors in the water and laying in the sand Saturday afternoon. A few feet away from the swimming area, a sign reads “water quality results: swimming is acceptable.”
A state park employee said a sample of the water is taken before Memorial Day. Those samples are analyzed at the Environmental Services Program laboratory in Jefferson City. According to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, water is tested for E. Coli.
The amount of colonies within those samples is a good indicator of bacteria levels. While it’s normal and safe for a certain amount of bacteria to be in the lakes– if there are more than 190 E. Coli colonies per 100 milliliters of water, it could be a health risk.
Only 1.0 colony of E. Coli was found at Finger Lakes State Park, meaning bacteria levels are safe for any swimmers.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services added not to get into the water if there’s any visible pollution, but that it’s important to understand the risks of what can’t be seen in the water too.
Water is tested on a weekly basis during the recreational season.