After further testing by Town of Windsor staff, Windsor Lake is once again within the safety threshold for blue-green algae and staff will be reopening the lake to the public on Saturday, July 15.
On Thursday, July 6, the town closed Windsor Lake to residents and visitors after a preliminary test indicated the potential presence of harmful blue-green algae. The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment standards require two consecutive test results to return with safe operating levels before reopening to the public. On July 14, staff tested Windsor Lake twice consecutively, with a negative test result both times.
“While we take extra precautionary steps, it is important to remember that Windsor Lake also serves as an irrigation lake and with every outdoor body of water comes uncontrolled natural hazards,” said Operations & Facilities Manager Kendra Martin. “We always encourage people to swim at their own risk.”
Windsor Parks, Recreation & Culture will also resume normal operating hours for its lake concessions and boat rentals. Rentals are available Monday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Thursdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Over the next several days, algae precautionary signs will remain posted and staff will continue to monitor water conditions and test as needed.
What is Harmful Algae?
Blue-green algae—also known as cyanobacteria—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.
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.
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