Thursday, June 20, 2013

Water Quality a problem at more Missouri Beaches

Aerial photomosaic of the Lake of the Ozarks i...

Five state park swimming beaches have temporarily closed for water quality issues, according to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

The state park beaches at Harry S Truman located in Warsaw, Lake of the Ozarks’ Grand Glaize beach located in Osage Beach, Pomme de Terre’s Pittsburg beach located in Pittsburg, St. Joe’s Monsanto Lake beach located in Park Hills and Wakonda located in La Grange are closed following results of water samples taken Monday that indicated bacteria levels higher than those recommended for waters used for swimming. Once tests from the public beaches indicate the bacteria levels are within the standard suitable for swimming, the beaches will reopen. The swimming beach at Mark Twain remains closed due to flooding conditions.

Harry S Truman, Lake of the Ozarks, Pomme de Terre and St. Joe state parks have a second designated swimming beach that remains open to the public. Visitors to Harry S Truman state park may stop by the office or fee booth to obtain a pass free of charge to swim at the campground beach. Visitors may also enjoy the beaches at Lake of the Ozarks’ Public Beach #1, Pomme de Terre’s Hermitage Beach, and St. Joe’s Pim Lake beach.

The department collects water samples from all designated beaches in the state park system weekly during the recreational season to determine suitability for swimming. Beaches will be closed for high bacteria when a single E. coli sample exceeds 235 cfu/100ml or when the geometric mean – a 30-day rolling average – exceeds 126 cfu/100 ml. The sample test results indicate a snap shot of the water quality taken at the beaches at a specific time; however, a single sample does not provide an overall sense of the water quality in the lake where the beach is located.

The department will post the information about the beach status on the website at dnr.mo.gov as well as mostateparks.com. Visitors to Missouri State Parks are able to sign up to receive free electronic notices about the status of state park beaches while visiting the department’s beach status website.

Missouri's state parks and historic sites offer something to suit everyone's taste - outdoor adventure, great scenery and a bit of history. With Missouri's 87 state parks and historic sites, the possibilities are boundless. For more information about Missouri state parks and historic sites and swimming beaches, visit mostateparks.com.