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E. coli still present in Blue Mounds water

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LUVERNE — A recent update on E. coli bacteria in Blue Mounds State Park has been released and the situation hasn’t improved, according to Scott Roemhildt.

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Roemhildt is the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officer for the southern region of Minnesota. His current primary goal is keeping the public informed about E. coli in the park, as well as keeping it safe from harm.

“We’ve determined that the water is now unsafe for drinking, showering, food preparation and brushing teeth,” Roemhildt said. “We’ve turned off all of those accessible faucets and taps, so they are unavailable.”

The bacteria originally showed up May 12 in the main water system for the campground. Park officials restricted water use, and a thorough treatment of the pipes began.

Recent tests of the water, however, show the bacteria remains in the system.

Finding the source of the outbreak is another main objective for health officials, but due to the geology of the park and surrounding area, that may take a while. The septic tanks are currently being inspected, and Roemhildt said new water sources for the park might be an option if the problem isn’t solved soon.

Thankfully, business for the park hasn’t slowed.

“We’ve had a couple of cancellations,” Roemhildt admitted, “but we immediately filled those slots.”

Campers will be provided with drinking water and encouraged to fill any of their water containers at the beach, which hasn’t been affected by the bacteria. The city of Luverne is also allowing campers to shower for free at the pool and fitness center.

More information about the E. coli can be obtained by visiting the DNR website for the Blue Mounds State Park at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/blue_mounds/index.html.

“We ask that if anyone has any questions or concerns about anything, please contact the park office. We would be glad to answer any questions anyone might have,” Roemhildt concluded.

For additional information, contact the park office at (507) 283-1307 or Roemhildt at (507) 995-9832.

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