City staff tests the water of Foot Lake at Robbins Island (Virgil M Olson) Beach for Fecal Coliform bacteria each week from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Although Minnesota law does not require testing, many public health departments and cities choose to monitor beach water quality.
Check the Current Status of Robbins Island Beach-Foot Lake
What is Fecal Coliform bacteria?
Fecal coliform bacteria (FCB) are a group of bacteria found in the digestive tract of all warm-blooded animals (humans, birds, mammals). It can be an indication of the presence of fecal contamination in the water. Fecal coliform bacteria are not harmful, but the presence of fecal coliform in the water indicates that more harmful pathogens are likely to present in the water as well (since the harmful bacteria and pathogens also come from feces).
Fecal contamination is most often the result of wildlife droppings and pet waste that get washed into the lake during rainfall. It is important to pick up pet waste in your yard and when taking your pet for a walk because rainfall runoff is not treated before it drains into nearby lakes and streams.
The guideline for close body contact/water recreation set by the US Environmental Protection Agency for fecal coliform bacteria is 200 colonies per 100 mL of water.
For more information on Recreational Water Illnesses, go to the Minnesota Department of Health website.
watch for the flags
Watch for the Flags flying over the Beach.
- Green Flag means testing results indicate low levels of FCB and the Beach is OPEN.
- Red Flag means testing results indicate high levels of FCB and the Beach is Closed.
If the weekly test result is greater than 200 colonies/100 mL of water, staff will re-sample the beach every weekday until the result drops below 200 colonies. For more information, contact Sara Sietsema at 320-235-4760 ext. 7425 or email.