Round Lake Park Beach is closed until Wednesday for preventative algae treatment

Round Lake Park Beach is closed until Wednesday, July 20, while the town conducts its annual treatment for algae, submerged plant growth, and tiny invertebrates that can cause an allergic reaction called “swimmer’s itch.”

Eden Prairie officials say the treatment is aimed at making the water clearer and more pleasant for swimming. The Round Lake wading pool and Riley Lake beach will remain open.

“It’s more about the amount of vegetation and the type that makes it uncomfortable for people than the state of the water,” Jay Lotthammer, the city’s director of parks and recreation, said Monday.

“They’re not like the biggest wasp,” he said, describing the kind of wasps that burrow in the sand there. “They are quite docile and there is only one per burrow. It’s not like there’s this big nest. By working on the sand area of ​​the beach repeatedly, it helps to get rid of them or reduce them considerably.

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Lotthammer said Round Lake County’s water quality tests have been consistently good this summer. The Hennepin County Public Health Department samples the waters at all public beaches throughout the summer to check for waterborne illnesses. Round Lake was last tested on July 11.

But, he noted, it’s usually later in the summer that the city has seen lake water exceed state standard water levels. Heavy rains after a long hot, dry period are the catalyst for an increase in the number of fecal coliform bacteria in these cases.

“Usually it’s a day or two before it could be closed again,” he said. “But we have had very good water quality so far this year, and we will continue to monitor it.”

In the recent past, Lotthammer said a spike in fecal coliforms in the lake was primarily due to a buildup of lawn fertilizer.

“The theory of what’s happening is that when we’ve had this long dry spell, things build up upstream,” he said. “We get a big rain, all sorts of washing happens and pushes it up. We determine that it is not safe. Usually it takes a day or two and these are diluted, washed off and we are in good condition to swim.

About 15 years ago, Canada geese were the main culprit for high fecal coliform counts in the lake.

“It would end up pushing the numbers up and shutting it down a lot more often, but thankfully that was mostly taken out of the equation,” he said. “It doesn’t have the same impact as before.”

To learn more about Eden Prairie’s beaches, visit the town’s website.

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