On August 14, 2018, the Kalamazoo County Department of Environmental Health advised the City of Portage of elevated levels of E. coli bacteria at Ramona Park Beach on Long Lake. The City of Portage has closed Ramona Park Beach until further notice. Additional testing will be performed and the beach will reopen when the levels of E. coli bacteria meet the Michigan Water Quality Standards.
Environmental Health performs water sampling at Ramona Park Beach for E. coli bacteria weekly. Samples are submitted to the Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Laboratory for analysis. When the monitoring conducted by Environmental Health determines that bacteria levels exceed the limits set by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, an advisory is issued and the beach is closed until the bacteria levels no longer exceed the limits.
The results of the sampling are indicative to the Ramona Park Beach area, not the lake as a whole. Several factors can influence bacteria counts: land use and land development, weather conditions, wind direction, air and water temperatures, season, storm water runoff, wildlife concentrations and the number and frequency of bathers.
Ramona Park Beach patrons are encouraged to contact their health provider with questions pertaining to an illness. Questions concerning the water sampling program at Ramona Park Beach or Michigan Water Quality Standards may be directed to the Kalamazoo County Department of Environmental Health at (269) 373-5349.