LAKEWOOD, Colo. — Big Soda Lake and Bear Creek Reservoir in Bear Creek Lake Park are now closed for swimming after harmful levels of blue-green algae were detected in the water.
It is not uncommon to find this type of algae in lakes around Colorado. The cyanobacteria thrives in warm and nutrient-rich water, the city said. During the summer, when temperatures can skyrocket, the algae can grow excessively and some varieties can produce toxins that are harmful to humans and animals.
It's not yet clear when it will reopen to swimming. Paddle boats, canoes, and kayaks and other personal paddle craft devices are still allowed, but people should not touch the water. Fishing is still allowed in Bear Creek Reservoir.
Dogs and other animals should not go near the water.
Visitors can enjoy the rest of the park anytime from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. This includes using the shoreline of the swim beach.
“Keeping our staff and visitors safe is a top priority at Bear Creek Lake Park,” said Regional Park Supervisor Drew Sprafke. “We work closely with city officials to monitor water quality and have determined we must close Big Soda Lake to swimming right away due to algae.”