Tanners Lake beach reopens after heightened bacteria levels in lake

A family enjoyed the water during an impromptu swim session on Aug. 15 at the newly-reopened Tanners Lake beach in Oakdale. (Amy Felegy photos/Review)

Oakdale neighbors can resume soaking up the last few weeks of summer at the beach. 

Tanners Lake beach closed due to elevated E. coli levels on Aug. 7 — the area is now back open for swimming, said Oakdale Parks Superintendent Jeff Koesling.

“It’s safe for the kids and anybody who wants to use it,” he said.

With word out about other metro lakes closing due to high bacteria levels, Tanners Lake officials began weekly testing on July 30. Half of Minneapolis’ 12 lakes had closed from high E. coli levels as of Aug. 14, the Star Tribune reported. Lake McCarrons beach in Roseville had closed for the same reason, reopening on Aug. 8 after being off-limits for a month.

After the late July test, bacteria levels in Tanners Lake were at 38 parts per million, which Koesling said is well within the safe range. Bacteria levels over 200 parts per million make for an unsafe lake.

The highest reading from the Oakdale Lake was 2,400 parts per million, checked just before the beach was closed the week of Aug. 4.

“We were shocked it was that elevated,” Koesling said, noting the number seemed strangely high. 

As of Aug. 14, bacteria levels had returned to a safe 141 parts per million in the lake, which is located at 400 Glenbrook Ave. N. in Oakdale.

The city will continue to test the lake every Tuesday through Labor Day, Koesling said. If bacterial readings exceed 200 parts per million, the beach will close again. Though the status of the lake seems unpredictable, he said all the rain the city has been getting might be a culprit, along with goose feces and area water runoff into the lake.

“I think that the issue is the water table is so high this year, [and] the rain might change it again,” Koesling said. “We’ll just keep an eye on it.”

Updates on beach closings can be found through the Ramsey and Washington County websites under the parks and recreation department tabs. 


Amy Felegy

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