Most Lake Minnetonka beaches safe after sewage dump


Most beaches around Lake Minnetonka are open after officials had warned against swimming in the lake following a sewage release in Mound Sunday.

Heavy rain over the weekend forced the city of Mound to release wastewater into the stormwater sewer system to prevent it from backing up into about 1,000 homes. Officials said the sewage would likely flow into Lake Minnetonka, which could increase E. coli levels and make lake users sick.

But as of Wednesday morning, all but two beaches on Lake Minnetonka met pollution standards, according to Hennepin County's website. The county monitors 31 beaches around the lake.

The two beaches that didn't meet pollution standards – Nocomo Beach in Deephaven and Crescent Beach in Shorewood – will be tested daily until contamination drops to safe levels, the Star Tribune reports.

The Mound sewage dump may not have had anything to do with contamination at those beaches, officials said. Duane Hudson, program manager of environmental health for Hennepin County, said these contaminated beaches, which are located several miles from the Mound sewage release sites, could have been contaminated by "just about anything" including animals or stormwater, the newspaper says.

Although it has only been a few days since officials warned against swimming in the lake, it still affected some nearby businesses that thrive on water sport activities.

Tommy Drummond, who owns Tommy's Tonka Trolley in Excelsior, says he's lost money because worry over E. coli contamination has caused his customers to back out of plans to rent his kayaks and paddle boards, KSTP reports.

"I had over $1,500 in revenue, in reservations canceled for future reservations for the next three to four weeks," Drummond told the news station.

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