Cherry Creek State Park swim area closed due to high E. coli levels

Cherry Creek Reservoir - Aurora, CO (Douglas County)

by Colorado Parks & Wildlife

AURORA, Colo. – Colorado Parks and Wildlife has temporarily closed the natural swim area at Cherry Creek State Park due to unsafe E. coli levels. Thursday morning, routine daily water quality testing revealed higher than allowable levels of the bacteria, as determined by Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment standards. The swim area will remain closed until water sample testing shows a decrease in E. coli.

Signs have been placed along the swim beach notifying park visitors to the closure. Although the area is closed to swimming, beach access and other water-related activities, like fishing and paddle boarding, are allowed. No other areas of the park are affected.

“While these closures are not common, we test the water often to make sure the public is safe while enjoying the reservoir,” said Cherry Creek State Park Operations Manager Larry Butterfield. “The elevated bacteria levels can be caused by fecal waste from wildlife, run-off from urban areas, or excessive run-off from rain, and the park has seen heavy rainfall this year.”

CPW notified CDPHE and the Arapahoe County Health Department of the testing results. Regular water quality testing in natural swimming areas is mandated by the CDPHE and the Colorado Board of Health during the swimming season to ensure public health.

The park’s website and CPW Northeast Region Twitter account will announce when the swim area will reopen. Read more about CDPHE’s guidelines for swim beach monitoring on the department’s website.     

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