Windsor Lake to reopen Saturday

Lake Windsor will reopen to the public on Saturday after being closed for two weeks due to suspected harmful bacteria in the water.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has cleared the city of Windsor to reopen the lake, the city announced in an email Friday afternoon.

“CDPHE standards require two consecutive test results to come back with safe operating levels before reopening to the public,” said Kendra Martin, city parks, recreation and cultural operations and facilities manager. “While we take extra precautions, it’s important to remember that Windsor Lake also serves as an irrigation lake and with every open body of water comes unmanaged natural hazards. Therefore, we encourage people to swim at their own risk.”

Algae precautions will be in place over the next few days and staff will continue to monitor water conditions and test as needed, the news release added.

The city’s parks, recreation and cultural department will resume normal business hours for concessions and boat rentals Saturday morning. Rentals are available Monday through Wednesday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Thursday through Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The lake was closed to the public on July 15, two days after the city issued a precautionary advisory over suspected harmful cyanobacteria. Lake water samples were submitted to the state for further evaluation.

Blue-green algae, which is not actually algae, is a type of bacteria that is very common in lakes in Colorado. The algae reproduces rapidly — and is affected by a combination of unusually persistent warm weather, stagnant water and stormwater runoff that contains nutrient pollution from fertilizers — causing blooms and scum, also according to city releases.

Polluted stormwater can adversely affect plants, fish, animals, and humans. Excess nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus in water is known as nutrient pollution and can cause algae to grow faster than ecosystems can handle. A significant increase in algae damages water quality, food supplies and reduces the amount of oxygen living in the water. Add consistently warm temperatures and the conditions are there for this type of algae to thrive.


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