WALKER, Mich. (WOOD) - Millennium Park in Kent County, like much of West Michigan, was flooded in April.
Now that the floodwater has receded, 24 Hour News 8 wanted to test the water at the popular park in Walker. Our crew used sterile bottles and took samples earlier this week from three different areas along the beach.
Summit Laboratory tested the samples and discovered the water from the south end of the beach is safe with 7.3 E. coli cells per 100 milliliters of water.
The center of the beach ranked 33.6 E. coli cells per 100 milliliters of water.
The result from the north end of the beach was much higher -- 307.6 E. coli cells per 100 milliliters of water.
The Department of Environmental Quality recommends closing swimming area when the levels hit 300.
Tom Krueger, president of Summit Laboratory, said the floodwater has no impact on the E. coli levels now.
Also, keep in mind all bodies of water have some levels of E. coli.
24 Hour News 8 wanted to know what may be causing the surface water in that one spot to be so much higher.
"I'm wondering if it's really from birds, swans, especially sea gulls are big contributors," Krueger said.
24 Hour News 8 then took the samples results to the Kent County Parks Department, which tested the water the same day we did, just a few hours later.
Parks Director Roger Sabine said we didn't follow protocol since we tested the surface water. Parks Department officials go in waist-deep water and get samples about a foot and a half under water, which is standard for beaches.
Sabine said the Park Department's results are good, and the water at Millennium Park is completely safe.
All three of their results fell between 6.3 E. coli cells per 100 milliliters of water and 8.4 milliliters.
The numbers under the standards of the DEQ show the water is safe for swimming.
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