Washtenaw County beach closes due to high bacteria levels -- again

Closure effective immediately

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

WHITMORE LAKE, Mich. – Independence Lake beach at Independence Lake County Park has been closed by the Washtenaw County Health Department and the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission due to high levels of E. coli bacteria.

The same beach closed earlier this month for the same reason.

The beach is located in Webster Township at 3200 Jennings Road in Whitmore Lake.

Routine testing conducted at the park’s public bathing beaches revealed elevated levels of E. coli, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps in individuals exposed to the bacteria.

The closure is effective immediately and the beach will reopen once follow-up tests determine it is safe to swim again.

For updates on the closure, visit washtenaw.org.

Other forms of recreation like fishing that do not require body contact with the water are still permitted at this time.

County officials believe a large amount of geese and ducks on the beaches combined with recent rainstorms causing bird feces to be washed into the lakes could be the reason for the elevated bacteria levels.

Anyone with questions or concerns or who have symptoms consistent with bacteria exposure from swimming in the impacted waters are encouraged to call the Washtenaw County Environmental Health Division at 734-222-3800 or visit www.washtenaw.org/envhealth.

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.