Warren Dunes, Weko Beach, Cherry Beach water off-limits due to E. coli

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BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. (WNDU) - Swimming is off-limits at three Berrien County beaches due to high levels of E. coli.

The affected beaches are Warren Dunes, Weko Beach and Cherry Beach.

You can find more information about the closures at the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality website.

Chikaming Township posted the following on Facebook at 10:25 a.m. Tuesday:

The Berrien County Health Department has closed Weko Beach, Warren Dunes, and Cherry Beach due to high levels of e-coli. There will be no swimming until the levels are within acceptable levels. We will update you as soon as we are notified.

Officials say it’s nothing to be too concerned about at this point as it’s normal for beaches along Lake Michigan to close throughout the summer due to fluctuating E. coli levels.

The levels were tested Monday and at those three beaches, the levels were just over 300 E. coli per 100 milliliters of water, which is the level at which it’s determined some individuals could get sick.

Weko Beach tested at 310, Warren Dunes at 500, and Cherry Beach at 620 E. coli per 100 milliliters of water.

A break in a sewer line near Cherry Beach last week could possibly be the cause of the higher levels there, and Warren Dunes usually has a closure at least once a summer. Officials believe it could be because it’s one of the busiest beaches and has a lot of foot traffic.

Regardless of what beach you visit this summer, officials say there are simple things you can do to avoid getting any illness or gastrointestinal symptoms.

“Make sure that you’re washing your hands after playing in the water, enjoying the water, especially before eating just so that you don’t have any of that lake water on your hands while you’re eating,” said Gillian Conrad with the health department. “If you have a child that might be wearing diapers at the beach, make sure you’re changing diapers appropriately, away from the water, not burying diapers in the sand but disposing of them appropriately in trash receptacles; and just making sure you’re changing diapers frequently.”

Anytime you plan to visit a Michigan beach, you can visit the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality website, where E. coli levels and other health and safety information is posted.

More testing at these three beaches was done on Tuesday and the results should be in by Wednesday.

Officials anticipate the three beaches will be back open and safe for the public to swim in well before the start of the weekend.