Windsor Lake to reopen Saturday
Windsor Lake will reopen Saturday to the public following a two-week closure because of the suspected presence of harmful bacteria in the water.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment cleared the town of Windsor to reopen the lake, the town announced in an email early Friday afternoon.
“CDPHE standards require two consecutive test results to return with safe operating levels before reopening to the public,” said Kendra Martin, the town parks, recreation and 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.”
Algae precautionary signs will remain posted over the next several days, and staff will continue to monitor water conditions and test as needed, the news release added.
The town’s parks, recreation and culture department will resume normal operating hours for concessions and boat rentals on Saturday morning. Rentals are available from 11 am to 5 pm Monday through Wednesday, and from 11 am to 6 pm Thursday through Sunday.
The lake was closed to the public on July 15, two days after the town issued a precautionary advisory on the presence of cyanobacteria. Samples of lake water were submitted to the state for further evaluation.
The lake was closed for 17 days in July 2021 because of the presence of the same bacteria in the water.
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, also according to the release from the town.
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 for this type of algae to thrive.