Lake Pueblo swim beach back open after high bacteria levels reported

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PUEBLO, Colo. (KKTV) - UPDATE 7/11/19:
The Rock Canyon Swim Beach at Lake Pueblo State Park is back open, following high bacterial levels.

The park reported on Wednesday that water quality tests have returned and they are "well within the acceptable level of bacteria, or e-coli, as set by the Colorado Department of Health."

The beach was back open as of 11 a.m. on Thursday.

PREVIOUS STORY 7/3/19

Just before Independence Day, Lake Pueblo State Park announced the swim beach was closed due to "high bacteria levels."

Officials at the park posted to Facebook this was a rare move made by Colorado Parks and Wildlife. The Rock Canyon Swim Beach is expected to be closed through the holiday weekend. Colorado Parks and Wildlife is expected to do follow-up testing next week.

Park Manager Monique Mullis said the exact reason for the spike in bacteria levels is unknown. She suggested that recent rain events and a jump in the Arkansas River flows due to increased snowmelt runoff could wash contaminants into the river.

“We realize that right before the 4th of July holiday is a terrible time for this to happen and for the beach to be closed,” Mullis said. “But we will not take chances on the health and safety of our visitors.”

Secondary test results that follow protocol are expected back early next week at which time a decision will be made to reopen the swim beach or extend the closure.

If you have any questions, you are asked to call the park at 719-561-9320.