Windsor Lake, beach and dog park closed due to positive bacteria test

Windsor Lake, the lake beach and the dog park are closed until further notice because of a positive water test for bacteria, the City of Windsor said on Friday.

A precautionary water sample taken from the lake Wednesday tested positive for cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, according to a press release from the city’s Parks, Recreation and Culture Department.

The closure came into effect on Friday afternoon and affects the lake, the bathing beach and access to the dog beach.

Almost a year ago – on July 23, 2021 – the lake was closed to the public for 17 days due to the presence of the same cyanobacteria in the water.

Rentals and concessions are not available while the area is closed. Annually licensed motorized and non-motorized boaters are permitted on the lake to assist in stirring up the water. Water activities such as tubing and water skiing are not allowed.

Non-motorized boaters may use permits at their own risk. The city recommends not entering the water.

Blue-green algae, which aren’t actually algae, are a type of bacteria and are found in lakes throughout Colorado, according to the city’s release. The algae multiply rapidly — and are affected by a combination of unusually prolonged hot weather, stagnant water and stormwater runoff, including nutrient pollution from fertilizers — to form blooms and foam.

Polluted stormwater runoff can have negative effects on plants, fish, animals and humans. Too much nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus in the water is called nutrient stress and can cause algae to grow faster than ecosystems can handle. A significant increase in algae damages water quality, food resources and reduces the oxygen content of aquatic life.

The addition of sustained hot temperatures allows for conditions in which the algae can thrive.

The lake is now closed, the bathing beach is closed and access to the dog beach is closed.

“Earlier this week, our team took precautions and issued a recommendation to our community, in addition to posting news on our communication platforms,” ​​said Kendra Martin, Parks, Recreation & Culture Operations and Facilities Manager. “With positive blue-green algae results, staff immediately closed access to the lake swimming areas and are actively working to keep our community updated.”

While permit holders are advised to drive at their own risk, visitors can still drive the Dr. Tom Jones Trail, a 2.5-mile trail around the lake, in addition to the volleyball court, catch-and-release fishing, playground, and Boardwalk Park use museum and the park in general.

Other swimming options include the Community Recreation Center (CRC), Chimney Park Pool, and the Eastman Park River Experience. Swimming facilities at the CRC include a three-lane pool, whirlpool, lazy river and waterslide.

Visit for hours of operation, pool access and information about Windsor events. Windsor Lake, beach and dog park closed due to positive bacteria test

James Brien

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