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Ramona Park Beach reopens after tests clear for E. coli levels

The Romana Park Beach has been closed due to high levels of e. coli found in the water. (WWMT/File)

UPDATE on 8/15 at 10:15 a.m. | The city of Portage has announced following additional testing from the Kalamazoo County Department of Environmental Health that the water at Ramona Park Beach on Long Lake is open for swimming.

The city said the beach, along with beach-side amenities like boat rentals, concessions, picnic areas and the fishing dock, are open for business daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The city reminds residents that entry to Ramona Park Beach is free, and $10 daily permits for non-residents can be purchased near the park entrance during regular beach hours. For more information on what the park offers, visit their website or call Portage Parks & Recreation at (269) 329-4522.

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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.

Portage officials have closed the Ramona Park Beach until further notice - due to high levels of e. coli in the water. E. coli is a bacteria that can cause illness in humans, including vomiting and diarrhea.

The high levels of e. coli were found during recent water testing by the Kalamazoo County Department of Environmental Health. The water at the beach is tested weekly. Additional tests will be performed and the beach will reopen when the levels of e. coli meet the Michigan Water Quality Standards, Portage officials said in a written announcement on the closure.

The test results are indicative to the Ramona Park Beach area, not the lake as a whole, Portage officials said. 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.

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