Swimming Area Closure

Here are answers to questions about King County’s closure of the public swimming area at Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park.

Why is the swimming area closed?

King County’s Water and Land Resources Division regularly tests water in county lakes for harmful bacteria. In recent weeks, this testing has shown an increased amount of bacteria in the Coulon Beach swimming area. The county has closed the area to swimming until bacteria is below acceptable levels. The county looks for a three-day bacteria average that cannot be over 200CFU/100 ml. (CFU = colony forming units per 100 mL of water (about a half-cup of water).

What could happen if I swim in the water?

King County Health officials say exposure could cause skin irritation or eye infection, or even serious illness if the water is swallowed. 

What is the source of the bacteria?

King County reports that tests for human or dog bacteria source markers both came back negative. This means waterfowl are likely the main culprit.

What else is closed at Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park?

Nothing. The beach (sandy area), shorelines and boat launch are open. Water activities, such as boating and water skiing, are not affected by the swimming ban, which is confined to the designated swim area just off the beach.

Where else can I swim?

The swimming status of King County beaches is online.

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