Elevated E. coli levels close Gremlin Cove Beach at Harlan County Lake

Kansas City District
Published June 6, 2024
Scene from Harlan County Lake and dam from October 11, 2019.

Scene from Harlan County Lake and dam from October 11, 2019.

Due to high E. Coli concentrations, officials at Harlan County Lake have closed the Gremlin Cove Beach.

Officials will retest the water on June 11, 2024, and results will be available the following day. The beach will remain closed until levels fall below 235 colonies per 100 ml water.

Sampling is conducted weekly by the Lower Republican Natural Resource District at Harlan County Lake beaches. E. coli populations measured from beach samples, as recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency and state agencies, are used as the most representative and measurable human health concern at swim beaches. 

“Fecal coli form bacteria populations in the water are very high as a result of the excessive fecal material washed in from nearby sources, which are usually geese, birds, livestock, wildlife, humans and septic waste,” said Marvin Boyer, lake water quality program coordinator, Kansas City District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

USACE beaches may be temporarily closed for a variety of safety reasons to include high water levels, bacterial contamination and blue-green algae blooms throughout the summer recreational season. 

When conditions dictate, temporary closure signs will be placed at the beach entrance to inform the public and a comprehensive list of closures will be available on the Kansas City District Lake web pages, Kansas City District > Locations > District Lakes (army.mil).

Release no. 24-020