Fowl droppings could be responsible for High E. coli levels in Minnesota lakes

A popular beach along Lake Minnetonka is still waiting to reopen Monday after closing last week due to high E. coli levels.

Now, swimmers at Excelsior Commons Beach are waiting for the all clear.

Monday, Hennepin County researchers collected water samples to make sure the beach is no longer full of the organisms linked to E. coli.

The source could possibly be coming from water fowl droppings washing into the lake.

“Typically, what we’ve noticed is that there is a correlation with heavy rainfall and a lot of E. coli indicators,” said Zamzam Abdirahman, an environmentalist with Hennepin County’s Health Department.

Some swimmers, like Cindy Busch, are not waiting any longer.

“Well, I did stay away last week, although I did notice there were a number of people swimming,” she said.

These people are all waiting for the beach to reopen during the hottest temperatures of the year.

The Health Department says beaches like this typically clear up after a stretch of dry weather.

“Occasionally, later in the summer, we might see more failures and they stay out a little bit longer,” said Abdirahman. “But, not necessarily. It kind of depends on the year.”

This is not believed to be related to the illness that struck about 170 people swimming and boating near Big Island during the Fourth of July holiday.

The test results on the Excelsior beach should be back Tuesday morning.