Water Safe for Swimming at Big Creek Lake
Posted: 07/11/2011
DES MOINES – The DNR lifted a water contact advisory at Big Creek State Park at 12:30 p.m. today after test results came back clean.

“Overall, the water in the lake is safe for swimming, boating, fishing and other normal recreational activity,” said Greg VanFosson, DNR district parks supervisor.

Water samples collected Saturday and tested for microcystins, a byproduct of blue-green algae, showed almost no microcystins in the water. The results were well below the 20 micrograms of microcystins per liter of water that pose a moderate threat for water contact.

VanFosson said the wind likely played a role in the lower levels. Rapidly warming weather, sunlight, water temperatures and shallow, still waters can lead to an algal bloom.

While the lake is safe for people and pets, VanFosson encouraged people to avoid any isolated areas with large mats of floating vegetation or a brown or blue-green paint color that might indicate a recent algae bloom.

“Fish caught in these areas are safe to eat, but should be rinsed carefully and the fish guts should be discarded,” he said.
Test results for other state beaches can be found on the DNR website. Look under Environment and Water quality monitoring at www.iowadnr.gov or go directly to  www.igsb.uiowa.edu/wqm/Beaches/BeachMapState.htm.