MARQUETTE, Mich. (WZMQ) – UPDATE 8/25: The City of Marquette has reopened Tourist Park beach and South Beach after temporarily closing them for e. coli contamination on Thursday. The city says the waters at both beaches have tested at safe levels and are reopened for swimming.
MARQUETTE, Mich. (WZMQ) – On Monday morning, August 24th, two beach access areas in Marquette County have been closed to swimming temporarily. Routine testing by the Marquette Water Treatment plant revealed elevated levels of the bacteria E. coli at South Beach and Tourist Park Beach.
The rainfall on the sidewalks, parking lots, and even in the grass can wash back into Lake Superior, carrying all the bacteria with it. The City of Marquette is collecting water samples daily and explained that due to the urban landscape and rainfall, bacteria have an easier time making it into the water.
“South beach and tourist park their usually the more susceptible ones, tourist park being a river and a basin and south beach is what we call a wet beach. The sand usually stays wet so if Geese are on there and they’re dropping the sun isn’t able to dry that up and kill the E. coli in those droppings and you get a rainstorm and it can wash that material into the lake,” commented Dir. of Municipal Utilities Mark O’Neill.
Generally, the current and winds usually help carry away the bacteria within 24 hours, but the city cannot reopen the beaches to swimming until State Water Quality standards are met.