Chatfield swimming beach reopened after E. coli levels drop

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By Ramsey Scott

Chatfield State Park’s swimming beach has reopened after being closed for two days last week when high levels of the E. coli bacteria were discovered in the water. 

On the morning of June 3, Colorado Parks and Wildlife closed thebeach after a water test showed E. coli levels just above the allowed limit of 235 organisms per 100 milliliters of water. The swimming beach was closed as soon as the testes were completed. 

By late afternoon June 4, bacteria levels had decreased well below the allowed limit and the beach reopened.

“It’s a pretty naturally occurring thing. Things blow in from the shore line, and there’s a temporary elevation of E. coli,” said CPW spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill. “Having the presence of geese elevates that chance.”

Heavy rains and warmer temperatures usually play a part in the increased levels of bacteria. Normally the count is much lower, and higher levels of bacteria usually clear up within 24 hours, Churchill said.  

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment requires the bacteria levels in Chatfield be checked once a week. 


Contact Ramsey Scott at ramsey@evergreenco.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 22, and follow him on Twitter @RamseyColumbine. Check www.columbinecourier.com for updates.