Despite significantly lower bacteria levels detected in water quality samples taken at designated state park swimming beaches this week, two state park beaches will remain temporarily closed for water quality issues, according to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
Even though bacteria levels at Lake of the Ozarks' Grand Glaize beach located in Osage Beach and Harry S Truman's public beach located in Warsaw were minimal, the beaches will remain closed because the overall geometric mean exceeds the department's standard for state park beaches. Once tests from the public beaches indicate the geometric means are within the standard suitable for swimming, the beaches will reopen.
Harry S Truman and Lake of the Ozarks 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 beach at Lake of the Ozarks' Public Beach #1 located in Kaiser.
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.