There are 12 swimming beaches in the Minneapolis Park System. For specific information about each beach, visit its location page:

Beach Water Quality Factors

Each summer, thousands visit our City lakes and enjoy a refreshing swim at our many swimming beaches. To ensure a healthy and enjoyable experience for these swimmers, we monitor the water at the public beaches for E. coli, bacteria that can be an indication of health risks for swimmers. Beaches are monitored weekly from June through August. Elevated bacteria levels in MPRB lakes usually occur as a result of rain events and return to normal levels within 24 to 48 hours of the rain event. Beaches close if a water sample does not meet the State of Minnesota’s guidelines. A beach reopens when testing reveals that levels are within guidelines. The test for E. coli takes 24 hours, and results are posted early afternoon the day after we sample a beach. The closing of a Minneapolis beach is rare, and in most cases the beach will re-open quickly. Beach status hotline: 612-313-7713

What does the E.Coli level mean?

Escherichia coli (E. coli) is a surrogate measure, or indicator for fecal contamination in recreational waters. Indicator organisms themselves do not cause illness under normal conditions. Elevated bacteria levels generally occur in aquatic environments after rain events when bacteria from various sources are washed into the lakes. Potential sources of E. coli in lake water include:

  • Foreshore beach sand
  • Organic debris
  • Leaking diapers, bather defecation
  • Polluted stormwater runoff
  • Sewage spills near the beach
  • Sewer line break discharges
  • Stream inflows
  • Wild and domestic animal waste

We test beaches weekly from June through August for E. coli bacteria, which can indicate a health risk. We follow Minnesota Pollution Control Agency guidelines for beach closures. Two types of results will close a beach:

  1. Single-Sample Limit: A single result of over 1,260 organisms per 100 mL of water
  2. Geometric Mean: Five samples equally spaced over a 30-day period exceed 126 organisms per 100 mL of water

Elevated bacteria levels in MPRB lakes usually occur as a result of rain events and return to normal levels within 24 to 48 hours of the rain event.

We will re-sample, and reopen the beach only when bacteria levels are within state guidelines.

We also provide water quality information on the beach status hotline: 612-313-7713

Bacteria Levels Rise with Rainfall

High bacteria levels generally occur immediately after rain events in Minneapolis. Here’s what you should be aware of regarding bacteria levels:

  • Avoid Swimming after a Rainfall: Elevated bacterial levels in lakes generally return to normal levels within 48 hours of a rainfall.
  • Pick up after your Pet: Increased bacteria levels predominantly come from waterfowl and pet wastes in yards, streets and parks that wash into lakes either directly or through the storm sewers as the result of a heavy rain.
  • Swim Healthy: Avoid swimming if you or your child have diarrhea, to prevent the transmission of the disease.
  • Keep it Clean: Be careful to not get lake water in your mouth. Wash your hands before eating and after changing a diaper. Shower afterwards if possible.

Impacts of Wild and Domestic Animal Waste

Waste from waterfowl and pets can greatly impact lake water quality and E. coli levels at Minneapolis beaches.

Many visitors to the parks enjoy feeding waterfowl scraps of food along the lake shores. Most do not realize that feeding the waterfowl is detrimental to the birds and the environment in many ways. Waterfowl require the proper nutrition for breeding, migration or to survive Midwest winters. High nutrition sources are needed for proper development and maintenance of feathers, muscles and bones. These sources are found in insects, grasses and aquatic plants. Human foods such as bread, crackers and popcorn are very low in the required nutritional needs of birds. When a bird’s diet contains mostly low nutrition food it can lead to malnutrition, disease, and dependency on that human source of food rather than searching out natural high nutrition sources.

Large numbers of congregating waterfowl can lead to increased concentrated waste. This waste in the lakes decreases water quality and leads to higher E. coli levels at the beaches. Increased waste from large numbers of birds at beaches, restaurants and grassy areas causes unpleasant and unsanitary conditions.

Please don’t feed the birds – it is better for the health of the birds, people and the environment to not feed the geese and ducks.

Canada goose populations have steadily increased over time. Geese are a significant contributor to elevated E. coli levels at public beaches. The Minneapolis Park Board has been controlling geese for public health reasons since the 1980s. The MPRB has a Minnesota DNR approved Goose Management Plan in place, and obtains the necessary permits to implement this plan. A copy of the MPRB Goose Management Plan is available upon request.

Waste from pets can also contribute to decreased water quality and elevated E. coli levels. Information about pet waste and its impacts can be found at our Canines for Clean Water campaign site.

For more information about the impacts of wild and domestic animal waste on water quality please email: waterquality@minneapolisparks.org.

Summer Heat Attracts Swimmer's Itch

Swimmer’s Itch occasionally affects our City lakes and beaches. Here’s what you should know about this annoying but harmless irritation:

  • To avoid becoming infected, towel dry immediately after exiting the water and shower afterwards, when possible.
  • Characterized by small, irritating red welts that appear after swimming. Sensitive individuals may itch for several weeks.
  • Occurs most often after swimming on hot, still summer days.
  • Caused by a parasite that infects birds and snails during different stages of its life. The parasite is unable to live in humans.

Recent Beach Status

Cedar Lake East Beach

08/20/2018

Status: Testing season has ended

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08/13/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 3
Water Temp (°F): 80.5
Status: Open

08/06/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 3
Water Temp (°F): 76
Status: Open

07/30/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 3
Water Temp (°F): 76
Status: Open

07/23/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 2
Water Temp (°F): 79
Status: Open

07/16/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 09
Water Temp (°F): 81
Status: Open

07/09/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 11
Water Temp (°F): 79.9
Status: Open

07/02/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 13
Water Temp (°F): 77.4
Status: Open

06/25/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 11
Water Temp (°F): 76.1
Status: Open

06/18/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 225
Water Temp (°F): 76.5
Status: Open

06/11/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 55
Water Temp (°F): 70.9
Status: Open

06/04/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 23
Water Temp (°F): 70.4
Status: Open

 


Cedar Lake Point Beach

08/20/2018

Status: Testing season has ended

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08/13/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 3
Water Temp (°F): 81.8
Status: Open

08/06/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 26
Water Temp (°F): 76
Status: Open

07/30/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 7
Water Temp (°F): 77
Status: Open

07/23/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 8
Water Temp (°F): 81
Status: Open

07/16/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 64
Water Temp (°F): 83
Status: Open

07/09/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 5
Water Temp (°F): 81.8
Status: Open

 

07/02/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 15
Water Temp (°F): 79.6
Status: Open

06/25/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 4
Water Temp (°F): 77.3
Status: Open

 

06/18/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 7
Water Temp (°F): 76.5
Status: Open

06/11/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 3
Water Temp (°F): 70.8
Status: Open

06/04/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 10
Water Temp (°F): 71.7
Status: Open

Cedar Lake South Beach

08/20/2018

Status: Testing season has ended

More

08/13/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 1
Water Temp (°F): 80.7

Status: Open

08/06/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 6
Water Temp (°F): 75

Status: Open

07/30/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 7
Water Temp (°F): 77

Status: Open

07/23/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 3
Water Temp (°F): 80

Status: Open

07/16/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 4
Water Temp (°F): 83

Status: Open

07/09/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 13
Water Temp (°F): 80.4

Status: Open

07/02/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 8
Water Temp (°F): 79.0

Status: Open

06/25/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 7
Water Temp (°F): 77.1

Status: Open 6/29/18

06/04/2018

Status: Closed for construction

Bde Maka Ska 32nd Street Beach

08/20/2018

Status: Testing season has ended

More

08/13/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 25
Water Temp (°F): 80
Status: Open

08/06/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 27
Water Temp (°F): 75
Status: Open

07/30/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 42
Water Temp (°F): 75
Status: Open

07/23/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 8
Water Temp (°F): 78
Status: Open

07/16/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 57
Water Temp (°F): 80
Status: Open

07/09/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 10
Water Temp (°F): 79.2
Status: Open

07/02/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 58
Water Temp (°F): 77.9
Status: Open

06/27/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 80
Water Temp (°F): 73.0
Status: Open

06/25/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 1643
Water Temp (°F): 74.6
Status: CLOSED

06/18/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 19
Water Temp (°F): 74.9
Status: Open

06/11/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 99
Water Temp (°F): 69.4
Status: Open

06/04/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 4
Water Temp (°F): 69.5
Status: Open

Bde Maka Ska North Beach

08/20/2018

Status: Testing season has ended

More

08/13/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 2
Water Temp (°F): 80.9
Status: Open

08/06/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 6
Water Temp (°F): 75
Status: Open

07/30/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 7
Water Temp (°F): 76
Status: Open

07/23/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 6
Water Temp (°F): 77
Status: Open

07/16/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 8
Water Temp (°F): 80
Status: Open

07/09/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 10
Water Temp (°F): 79.5
Status: Open

07/02/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 5
Water Temp (°F): 77.3
Status: Open

06/25/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 13
Water Temp (°F): 74.7
Status: Open

06/18/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 558
Water Temp (°F): 74.7
Status: Open

06/11/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 41
Water Temp (°F): 69.8
Status: Open

06/04/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 5
Water Temp (°F): 70.4
Status: Open

Bde Maka Ska Thomas Beach

08/20/2018

Status: Testing season has ended

More

08/13/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 252
Water Temp (°F): 79.1
Status: Open

08/06/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 153
Water Temp (°F): 74
Status: Open

07/30/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 4
Water Temp (°F): 75
Status: Open

07/23/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 6
Water Temp (°F): 78
Status: Open

07/16/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 7
Water Temp (°F): 80
Status: Open

07/09/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 1
Water Temp (°F): 78.9
Status: Open

07/02/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 11
Water Temp (°F): 77.5
Status: Open

06/25/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 2
Water Temp (°F): 75.0
Status: Open

06/18/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 19
Water Temp (°F): 74.8
Status: Open

06/11/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 10
Water Temp (°F): 69.7
Status: Open

06/04/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 9
Water Temp (°F): 70.1
Status: Open

Lake Harriet North Beach

08/20/2018

Status: Testing season has ended

More

08/13/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 3
Water Temp (°F): 80.3
Status: Open

08/06/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 6
Water Temp (°F): 75
Status: Open

07/30/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 5
Water Temp (°F): 75
Status: Open

07/23/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 3
Water Temp (°F): 77
Status: Open

07/16/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 5
Water Temp (°F): 81
Status: Open

07/09/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 10
Water Temp (°F): 78.2
Status: Open

07/02/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 21
Water Temp (°F): 76.9
Status: Open06/25/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 45
Water Temp (°F): 75.4
Status: Open

06/18/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 94
Water Temp (°F): 74.6
Status: Open

06/11/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 24
Water Temp (°F): 70.2
Status: Open

06/04/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 1
Water Temp (°F): 69.8
Status: Open

Lake Harriet Southeast Beach

08/20/2018

Status: Testing season has ended

More

08/13/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 11
Water Temp (°F): 79
Status: Open

08/06/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 11
Water Temp (°F): 74
Status: Open

07/30/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 12
Water Temp (°F): 75
Status: Open

07/23/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 1
Water Temp (°F): 77
Status: Open

07/16/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 7
Water Temp (°F): 80
Status: Open

07/09/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 40
Water Temp (°F): 77.0
Status: Open

07/02/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 8
Water Temp (°F): 76.8
Status: Open

06/25/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 200
Water Temp (°F): 74.6
Status: Open

06/18/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 489
Water Temp (°F): 74.8
Status: Open

06/11/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 114
Water Temp (°F): 69.9
Status: Open

06/04/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 6
Water Temp (°F): 68
Status: Open

Lake Hiawatha Beach

08/20/2018

Status: Testing season has ended

More

08/13/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 15
Water Temp (°F): 78.4
Status: Open

08/06/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 37
Water Temp (°F): 74
Status: Open

07/30/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 76
Water Temp (°F): 73
Status: Open

07/23/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 21
Water Temp (°F): 75
Status: Open

07/16/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 40
Water Temp (°F): 80
Status: Closed

7/9/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 35
Water Temp (°F): 78.5
Status: Closed

07/02/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 475
Water Temp (°F): 75.3
Status: Closed

06/25/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 626
Water Temp (°F): 74.0
Status: Open

06/18/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 243
Water Temp (°F): 76.5
Status: Open

06/11/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 87
Water Temp (°F): 70.1
Status: Open

06/04/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 16
Water Temp (°F): 69.5
Status: Open

Lake Nokomis 50th Street Beach

08/20/2018

Status: Testing season has ended

More

08/13/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 2
Water Temp (°F): 81
Status: Open

08/06/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 10
Water Temp (°F): 75
Status: Open

07/30/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 17
Water Temp (°F): 75
Status: Open

07/23/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 3
Water Temp (°F): 78
Status: Open

07/16/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 7
Water Temp (°F): 79
Status: Open

07/09/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 12
Water Temp (°F): 77.6
Status: Open

07/02/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 43
Water Temp (°F): 73.3
Status: Open

06/25/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 23
Water Temp (°F): 74.0
Status: Open

06/18/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 22
Water Temp (°F): 75.6
Status: Open

06/11/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 204
Water Temp (°F): 70.8
Status: Open

06/04/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 33
Water Temp (°F): 69.5
Status: Open

Lake Nokomis Main Beach

9/7/2018

Status: Testing season has ended

More

08/27/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 7
Water Temp (°F): 74
Status: Open

08/20/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 4
Water Temp (°F): 79.0
Status: Open

08/13/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 8
Water Temp (°F): 81.2
Status: Open

08/06/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 6
Water Temp (°F): 76
Status: Open

07/30/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 13
Water Temp (°F): 76
Status: Open

07/23/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 18
Water Temp (°F): 77
Status: Open

07/16/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 61
Water Temp (°F): 80
Status: Open

07/09/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 14
Water Temp (°F): 78.5
Status: Open

07/02/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 119
Water Temp (°F): 74.5
Status: Open

06/25/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 24
Water Temp (°F): 76.0
Status: Open

06/18/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 47
Water Temp (°F): 75.6
Status: Open

06/11/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 23
Water Temp (°F): 70.7
Status: Open

06/04/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 3
Water Temp (°F): 69.6
Status: Open

05/29/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 16
Water Temp (°F): 75.9
Status: Open

05/21/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 6
Water Temp (°F): 63.9
Status: Open

Theodore Wirth Lake Beach

9/7/2018

Status: Testing season has ended

More

08/27/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 5
Water Temp (°F): 74
Status: Open

08/20/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 1
Water Temp (°F): 78.6
Status: Open

08/13/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 2
Water Temp (°F): 80.9
Status: Open

08/06/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 1
Water Temp (°F): 75
Status: Open

07/30/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 1
Water Temp (°F): 78
Status: Open

07/23/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 1
Water Temp (°F): 81
Status: Open

07/16/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): <1
Water Temp (°F): 82
Status: Open

07/09/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 4
Water Temp (°F): 81.5
Status: Open

07/02/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 10
Water Temp (°F): 79.8
Status: Open

06/25/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 9
Water Temp (°F): 77.2
Status: Open

06/18/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 21
Water Temp (°F): 76.5
Status: Open

06/11/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 2
Water Temp (°F): 70.9
Status: Open

06/04/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 56
Water Temp (°F): 72.5
Status: Open

05/29/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 43
Water Temp (°F): 78.6
Status: Open

05/21/2018

E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 39
Water Temp (°F): 65.8
Status: Open