Windsor, CO- On Friday, July 15, 2022, the Town of Windsor closed access to the Windsor Lake beach and dog park until further notice. A precautionary water sample taken from the lake Wednesday, July 13 tested positive for cyanobacteria also known as blue-green algae.
The lake is closed, effective immediately, the swim beach is roped off, and access to the dog beach is locked. Swimming, bathing, and pets are not allowed on the lake until further notice.
Rentals and concessions will not be available during the closure. Annual permitted motorized and non-motorized boaters are allowed on the lake at this time to assist in agitating the water; however, water activities such as tubing and water skiing are not allowed. Non-motorized boaters can use their permits at their own risk. However, for health precautions and safety, staying out of the water is highly recommended.
“Earlier this week, our team took precautions and issued an advisory to our community in addition to publishing messages across our communication platforms,” said Kendra Martin, Parks, Recreation & Culture Operations and Facilities Manager. “With the results returning positive for blue-green algae, staff immediately closed access to the swim areas at the lake and are actively working to keep our community aware.”
What is Harmful Algae?
Blue-Green Algae, which are not really algae, are a type of bacteria, are common in lakes throughout Colorado. The algae multiply rapidly—and are impacted by a combination of unusually sustained hot weather, stagnant water and stormwater runoff that includes nutrient pollution from fertilizers—to form blooms and scums.
What Contributes to Blue-Green Algae Growth?
Polluted stormwater runoff can have adverse effects on plants, fish, animals and people. Too much nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus in the water is known as nutrient pollution and can cause algae to grow faster than ecosystems can handle. Significant increases in algae harm water quality, food resources, and decrease the oxygen aquatic life. Add sustained hot temperatures and conditions exist for this type of algae to thrive.
While permit holders are advised to boat at their own risk, visitors can still enjoy the Dr. Tom Jones Trail, a 2.5 mile trail around Windsor Lake, the volleyball court, catch and release fishing, the playground, Boardwalk Park Museum, and the park in general. Additional swim options include the Community Recreation Center (CRC), Chimney Park Pool, and Eastman Park River Experience. The CRC’s swim options includes a pool with three lap lanes, a hot tub, a lazy river, and a water slide. For hours of operation, admission to the pools, and information about events happening in Windsor, visit recreationliveshere.com.
The Town of Windsor will continue working with the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment and closely monitor the bacteria levels.
Stay up-to-date with the latest information by visiting recreationliveshere.com or following us on social media @windsorprc.