Park manager: Bay City State Park beach closure normal after hea - WNEM TV 5

Park manager: Bay City State Park beach closure normal after heavy rains

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BAY COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

Tommy Desmond and his family drove from the Detroit area to spend the day at the Bay City State Park.

They spent all morning kayaking, and planned to go swimming, but that didn't happen.

“Well we planned on going into that, guess we're not doing that,” Desmond said.

The water was off limits to swimmers thanks to E. coli.

“We planned on, yeah he was going to go and romp around,” Desmond said. “He's got water shoes on.”

The Bay County Health Department shut down the beaches at both the Bay City State Park and the South Linwood Park Thursday morning.

Both areas failed a water quality test that found too much E. coli in the water, said park manager, George Lauinger.

“This tends to be ground zero for other issues, not just E. coli, for example the muck,” Lauinger said.

Lauinger said he's not shocked from the test results.

“People are cognizant of the muck issues and the E. coli,” Lauinger said.

This is not the first time the beach has been closed this year. It also was shut down a month ago. The park manager tells us it's common in this area after heavy rain.

“The rain is being blamed, the rain causes the contaminants to be washed into the water,” Lauinger said. “And that's why for a couple hours or a day there tends to be an abnormally large amount of things like E. coli, which is what we have too much of.”

Although he says the beach has never been closed for more than a day or so.

In fact, the park was given the all-clear from the health department this afternoon.

And while Desmond and his family couldn't go swimming, at least it turned into a teaching moment.

“We had to explain bacteria and funky-ness to the boys so that took most of our trek that would have been a nature hike,” Desmond said.

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