Beltzville swimming remains closed
The beach at Beltzville State Park in Lehighton remained closed to swimmers Friday morning, pending water sample test results.
Park employees this morning were hopeful that test results, expected this afternoon, would clear the park to open to swimmers for this weekend.
The beach was closed as a precaution on Tuesday evening after water samples taken on Monday were found to have high bacteria counts.
"This is a very large body of water. There's always bacteria in any lake," said park manager Kevin Koflanovich. "That's why we test weekly. Our primary concern is that we want people to be safe, and when we notice an uptick in bacteria like this we shut down."
High bacteria counts last closed the swimming area in the summer of 2011 and can be caused by several different factors, including the weather and local animal populations.
"It depends on the weather and where the geese go," he added. "Hopefully we can reopen today or tomorrow, but it's anybody's guess. It's very weather-contingent."
Koflanovich noted that the park's geese population plays a large role in the water's bacteria count.
"We do our best to keep them out of the swimming and picnic areas, but we can't be there all the time," he said.
For updates on beach closure, call the park office at (610) 377-0045 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., or go to www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/findapark/beltzville/ and click on the red "advisories" link.
Updates will be posted to the website as they are available.