JEFFERSON CITY, MO. (KMOX) - Three beaches at Missouri state parks are open this weekend after being closed over the holiday weekend due to elevated bacteria levels. Now two other beaches have been temporarily closed due to high levels of E. coli.
Those beaches are the public swimming beaches at Mark Twain and Harry S Truman state parks. Authorities recommended those beaches to be closed following results of water samples taken Tuesday that indicated higher than normal bacteria levels. The campground beach at Truman State Park remains open, as do other park amenities.
All of the swimming beaches at Lake of the Ozarks, Cuivre River and the Hermitage Beach at Pomme de Terre state parks will be open starting today for public use. The Pittsburg Beach at Pomme de Terre State Park remained open last week. The boat ramp at the Hermitage Beach at Pomme de Terre State Park is currently closed due to high water levels. Visitors may check with the park or the website for additional information on current closings.
The water at all designated beaches in the state park system is sampled weekly during the recreation season by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to determine suitability for swimming. The sample test results indicate a snap shot of the water quality taken at the beaches at a specific time, however, the samples do not provide an overall sense of the water quality in the lakes. Water samples are taken to check for E. coli, a common indicator species for bacteria.
Higher bacteria levels are often associated with heavy rains that result in runoff from adjacent lands. Once tests indicate the bacteria levels are within the standard suitable for swimming, the beach will reopen. Information about current status of beaches is available on the website at mostateparks.com. Signs indicating the status of the beaches are posted at the beaches as well.
All other facilities at these parks remain open and available to the public. With rising fuel prices, Missourians may feel that a summer vacation will exceed the family budget. Close to home, 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 85 state parks and historic sites, the possibilities are boundless.
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