July 27, 2011
LITTLETON, Colo. – Chatfield State Park's swim beach was temporarily closed Wednesday because routine water quality tests, performed to meet Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) requirements, contained higher than allowable bacteria levels, said Keith Kahler, Chatfield State Park's Assistant Manager.
"To protect the public, these water quality tests are performed at least once a week," said Kahler. The high levels of the bacteria, E. coli, may have occurred due to recent heavy rains and high temperatures. Park staff closed the beach to swimming Wednesday morning, immediately after getting the tests results, and took new water samples from the area for testing to monitor the bacteria levels.
The swim beach at Chatfield was closed earlier this month, on July 7 and July 20, for the same reason. Each of the closures occurred after heavy rains in the area that washed over thousands of acres, including fields, lawns, streets, sidewalks and businesses, and drained into Chatfield. This summer, the swim beach reopened after the bacteria levels dropped below the permissible level.
The water will be tested daily to monitor the situation and when the bacteria levels meet CDPHE standards, the swim beach will be reopened, said Kahler. Water quality testing in natural swimming areas is mandated by the CDPHE and the Colorado Board of Health.
Park staff members who test the water quality at Chatfield Lake are trained to properly obtain the samples. For information on when the beach will re-open, visit our website at www.parks.state.co.us.