Swimming is not recommended in at least seven of Iowa’s state park lakes for the last holiday weekend of the summer. Mary Skopec is the beach monitoring coordinator with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. “Right now, we have five beaches that are not recommended for swimming due to E. coli bacteria advisories and we have three beaches that are not recommended for swimming based on algal toxin levels that we see,” Skopec says.
Recent heavy rains have contributed to a rise in E. coli bacteria by washing manure spread on farm fields into the lakes.
The beaches where swimming advisories are posted are at Union Grove State Park, Denison Beach, Black Hawk State Park, Backbone Lake, Lake of Three Fires, Prairie Rose Lake, and McIntosh Woods on Clear Lake.
The DNR tests the water each week and posts the results on their website.