E. coli bacteria levels prompt beach closure at Washtenaw County park

The Detroit News

A beach at Independence Lake County Park is closed due to high levels of E. coli bacteria, Washtenaw County officials said Wednesday.

The high levels at the Independence Lake beach in Webster Township "were detected through routine testing done at public bathing beaches during the summer months," the county health department said in a statement. "The closure is effective immediately and will remain in effect until follow-up tests show the levels are considered safe for swimming."

Independence Lake County Park in Webster Township

The elevated levels could have resulted from recent rainstorms and "an unusually high amount of ducks and geese on the beaches," according to the release.

Michigan's Public Health Code allows for public beach closures if E. coli bacteria levels exceed thresholds. E. coli bacteria can cause gastrointestinal illness.

Meanwhile, the park, which is operated by the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission, remains open for other recreation, officials said.

Anyone with questions or believes they became ill after swimming in the affected water is asked to call the Washtenaw County Environmental Health Division at (734) 222-3800 or go to www.washtenaw.org/envhealth.