UPDATE: Tourist Park beach, South Beach reopen

UPDATE: 7/13/20 5:45 p.m. — Water samples taken by the City of Marquette have been tested, and bacteria levels have returned to safe levels. The beaches are open to swimming once again. The City of Marquette will continue to monitor the water quality at the City’s beaches during the summer swimming season regularly.

The levels are impacted at these beaches because of the city’s storm water system, the amount of geese in the area, and the type of beach that it is compared to other beaches in the area.

“Part of the problem that we have in the City of Marquette, we’re in an urban environment and anything that gets on the ground, when we get a significant rain event it ends up in the city storm water system,” said Mark O’Neill, the Director of Municipal Utilities. “Everything leads to Lake Superior. The biggest issue that we have at South Beach, the geese like the beach because it’s nice and wide. It’s considered a wet beach, so their droppings, when they fall onto the ground, don’t get dried out by the sun, and when we get a rain like that it can wash all of that into the lake. And sometimes we see some elevated levels here.”

Due to the amount of waves and wind that affect Lake Superior, these elevated bacteria levels that could cause human sickness usually don’t last long.

MARQUETTE — After the recent rain event elevated levels of bacteria, specifically E. coli, have been detected at South Beach and Tourist Park swimming beaches in Marquette, MI. The beaches are closed to swimming until further notice.

The City of Marquette is collecting water samples daily and will reopen the beaches to swimming when State water quality standards are met.

All other beaches remain open. Signs have been posted at South Beach and Tourist Park.