By Katie Steiner

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Five beaches in the metro are still closed Monday due to unsafe levels of E.coli bacteria, an indicator of water quality.

Crews tested lake waters Monday morning at Thomas Beach and 32nd Street Beach on Bde Maka Ska; Lake Hiawatha Beach in Minneapolis; Excelsior Beach on Lake Minnetonka and McCarron Beach in Roseville.

Katie Steiner, who spent the morning with crews from Hennepin County Public Health as they tested the water at Excelsior Beach, says the beach could be open Tuesday afternoon, Wednesday morning at the earliest.

Every Monday morning from Memorial Day to Labor Day, the county tests the water from all their beaches, which is 37 samples total. The county gets a sample of the water, brings it back to its headquarters in Hopkins and then a courier picks it up and brings it to the lab in New Ulm.

As for the cause of the higher E. coli levels?

“Typically, we do see a correlation with heavy rainfall with a lot of E. coli indicators – a little bit of a higher sampling. We do recommend if there’s higher rainfall, don’t go swimming for 24 hours after that just to make sure that everyone is safe,” said Zamzam Abdirahman, an environmentalist with the Hennepin County Public Health Department.

Katie Steiner