Two Minneapolis beaches are closed today due to high levels of the E. Coli bacteria: Lake Hiawatha’s beach and the Lake Calhoun beach at 32nd Street. (The other two Calhoun beaches are open).

The Park Board said it closed the beaches Tuesday because testing showed levels of E-Coli bacteria exceeded state guidelines. They will open once those numbers return to normal.

Officials say the high levels are most often from waterfowl and pet wastes in yards, streets and parks that wash into lakes either directly or via the storm sewers after a heavy rain.

Three other beaches are also closed due to the high levels: Excelsior Beach on Lake Minnetonka, the beach at Snelling Lake in Fort Snelling State Park in St. Paul and Valley Lake Beach in Lakeville.  

Minneapolis Park and Rec advises swimmers to take precautions to lower their risk of exposure to high bacteria levels:

-Avoid swimming after a rainfall.

-Avoid swimming if you or your child have diarrhea.

-Avoid getting lake water in your mouth, wash your hands before eating and changing a diaper, and shower after swimming if possible.