The following is a news release from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources;
The Department of Natural Resources has closed the swimming beach at Watkins Woolen Mill State Park northeast of Kansas City due to E. coli levels above the standards set by the department.
Water samples drawn Monday from the beach at Watkins Woolen Mill State Park showed E. coli levels in excess of the department TMs single-sample standard for state park beaches.
Monday TMs sample from Watkins Mill Beach had 344.8 E. coli colonies per 100 milliliters of water.
In order to provide a safer beach experience, the Department of Natural Resources will close beaches at state parks if a single sample is above 235 E. coli colonies per 100 milliliters of water, which is also the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency TMs single-sample guideline for a swimming beach.
Watkins Mill Beach has been posted with signs notifying visitors of the closure and will remain closed until E. coli levels fall below the department standard.
No other state park beaches tested high for E. coli levels; however, bacterial levels often rise after heavy rains and lake users should use their judgment when swimming after heavy rains.
The latest information on beach closings at state parks is available online at http://mostateparks.com/beaches/index.asp . Additional beaches may be closed for other reasons, such as high water levels or safety and management issues. Information about all temporary closings at state parks is available online at http://mostateparks.com/closings.htm .