By Pafoua Yang

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – As the heatwave continues, some beaches are closing because of high E. coli levels.

Bde Maka Ska’s 32nd Street Beach is closed for a second time this summer. It’s only one of 12 beaches in Minneapolis closed during the weekend for high bacteria levels.

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Last Thursday, Crystal Lake in Burnsville also shut down for the same reason. It has since reopened.

Stretches of hot weather can contribute to levels of bacteria. County staff said nearly all water-borne illnesses are caused by organisms in untreated waste from humans or animals introduced directly to the water or through rainstorm runoffs.

Despite levels of bacteria at the 32nd Street Beach, Lisa Reimann still took a quick dip in the water.

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“I’m training for a triathlon. I biked around, did my laps running and this is my treat to quickly jump in the lake,” said Reimann. “I have faith that I’ll be okay at the end of the day.”

Some beachgoers admit they must have missed the sign that states “high bacteria levels, beach closed.”

“If you come here later in the day, you’ll see the beach filled up with people and people swimming,” Pamela Martin of Minneapolis said.

To lessen E. coli levels, sunlight can break down the bacteria in both the sand and water. Microorganisms can also eat the bacteria but if city staff see excessive amounts of goose poop, they will remove it so it doesn’t contribute to the problem.

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To prevent getting sick from the beach, avoid murky water, don’t swallow lake water, and wait 24 hours after heavy rain before heading to the beach.

Pafoua Yang