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City of Elk River Policy Regarding Water Quality Testing at Orono Beach

Testing Frequency

Beginning in 2018, Lake Orono will be tested for E. coli (Escherichia coli) bacteria. This measure determines fecal contamination in recreational waters. Elevated bacteria levels generally occur in aquatic environments after significant rain events when bacteria sources are washed into the lake from land.

Lake Orono will be tested twice weekly from Memorial Day through Labor Day by taking three samples each time for a total of six samples per week in a 30-day period. We will follow the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency guidelines for impaired water quality notifications. Two types of results will close a beach:

  • Single-Sample Limit: A single result of over 235 organisms per 100 mL of water
  • Geometric Mean: At minimum five samples equally spaced over a 30-day period exceed 126 organisms per 100 mL of water

Standard for Posting Warning

If E. coli levels are above the MPCA guidelines, signage shall be posted on the beach stating, "Caution- Impaired Water Quality- Potential Health Risk if Swallowed." Daily sampling will be conducted until the levels drops below the guidelines, at which time caution signs will be removed.

Notify

Parks and Recreation Department for placement of signs at Orono Beach and public access

  • Police Chief and Police Captain
  • Lake Orono Improvement Association and they will perform a calling tree or email list to lake owners. Current email: info@lakeorono.org
  • Place information on News Flash on city website
  • City Administrator who will inform Mayor and City Council
When Caution is lifted
  • Notify Parks and Recreation Department to remove signs from Orono Beach and public access
  • Police Chief and Police Captain
  • Lake Orono Improvement Association
  • Remove News Flash from website
  • City Administrator who will inform Mayor and City Council

Effective as of January 1, 2018

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