wdiv logo

Independence Lake beach closed after high levels of E. coli detected -- again

People swim at Independence Lake beach on July 14, 2019.
People swim at Independence Lake beach on July 14, 2019. (Meredith Bruckner)

WEBSTER TOWNSHIP, Mich. – The Washtenaw County Health Department announced late Monday morning that it has closed Independence Lake beach to swimmers after high levels of E. coli bacteria were detected.

The popular summer spot closed earlier this month when routine testing revealed high levels of the same bacteria.

Health officials said the closure is effective immediately and the beach will reopen once follow-up testing shows safer bacteria levels for swimming.

Those who come into contact with E. coli bacteria can experience gastrointestinal illness, and those with weakened immune systems are particularly at risk.

Recent rainstorms and feces from birds present on the beach or washed into the lake by stormwater may have caused the elevated bacteria levels, said the Health Department.

Other forms of recreation like fishing at Independence Lake County Park that do not involve bodily contact with the water are permitted at this time.

People who believe they came down with an illness after swimming in the contaminated waters, or who have questions or concerns about water sampling at public beaches are encouraged to call the Washtenaw County Environmental Health Division during normal business hours at 734-222-3800, or can visit www.washtenaw.org/envhealth.

The beach is on Independence Lake in Webster Township at 3200 Jennings Road, Whitmore Lake.

For updates, visit washtenaw.org.


About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.