On Friday, August 6, the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment cleared the Town of Windsor to reopen Windsor Lake to the public. Today, Windsor Lake is open to the public.
On Monday, July 19, the Town of Windsor issued a precautionary advisory to residents and visitors stating a suspected presence of harmful cyanobacteria. Samples of lake water were submitted to the state for further evaluation and on Friday, July 23, the lake was closed.
Today, Monday, August 9, Windsor’s Parks, Recreation & Culture Department will resume normal operating hours for its lake concessions and boat rentals. Rentals are available Monday through Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and weekends from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., through Sunday, September 19.
“CDPHE standards require two consecutive test results to return with safe operating levels before reopening to the public; we submitted a third water sample as an extra precaution,” said Kendra Martin, Parks, Recreation & Culture operations and facilities manager. “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. Therefore, we encourage people to swim at their own risk.”
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, 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.
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