High bacteria levels lead to closing of beach at Great Hollow Lake

The town closed the beach at Great Hollow Lake due to high bacteria levels in the water.

A cardboard sign that says, “Lake Closed” on the gate to the beach at Great Hollow Lake greets visitors, along with a notice informing them the lake is closed to swimming due to elevated levels of bacteria, likely caused by the heavy rainstorms earlier in the week.

Parks and Recreation Director Missy Orosz said it was the first time the lake had to be closed all summer.

The water is routinely tested for E. coli bacteria every Wednesday by Aqua Environmental, a Newtown firm, with assistance from the Monroe Health Department. Orosz said the town receives the results on Thursday afternoons.

“The results were not alarming, but it exceeded the standards set by the Connecticut Department of Health,” First Selectman Ken Kellogg said Friday. “The safety of the patrons is the number one priority — always.”

Orosz said the lake was closed to swimming since Thursday afternoon.

“The water was tested again this afternoon and we’ll know tomorrow,” she said Friday. “We hope to be able to reopen the beach.”

Orosz said residents could find out if the beach was open again Saturday by checking the Parks and Recreation Department’s Facebook page or by calling its cancelation information line at 203-339-6106.

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