lake access home empact metro project
lake access header
lake data understanding lakes current issues land use/GIS history lawn fertilizer study

The graph to the left shows temperatures for Lake Independence from mid-March through July 7. The surface water is up to 79 F now....not very refreshing on a hot day, but won't take long getting used to.



Three Rivers Park District Swimming Beaches

The swimming beaches are now operated by Three Rivers park District and are open Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day from 9 AM – 8 PM, unguarded.

They do have two swim ponds, at Lake Minnetonka Regional Park and Elm Creek Park Reserve. These are both lifeguarded during certain times throughout the season. The hours and dates change every year, so visit their webpages to see the latest schedule:

Lake Minnetonka Regional Park

Elm Creek Park Reserve


Bacteria - Don't drink the water! Some swimming beaches may be monitored for E. coli or fecal coliform bacteria. Although these bacteria are not themselves necessarily harmful, they provide a measure of overall bacterial levels in the water.

For more information on waterborne pathogens visit the Minnesota Department of Health web page.

Swimmer's Itch (Schistosomiasis) - Swimmer's itch is an irritation of the skin caused by a small flatworm called a Schistosome that mistakes humans for their natural waterfowl hosts. The flatworm burrows into our skin to try to complete its lifecycle. Fortunately for us our body attacks them, which causes most of us to itch. For more information on swimmer's itch check out Minnesota DNR's: Swimmer's itch webpage.

If swimmer's itch becomes a big problem, management agencies will treat the swimming areas with copper sulfate. The copper sulfate kills the snails that act as an intermediate host for the schistosomes. Unfortunately the copper sulfate is a nonspecific poison, which means that it kills or damages other aquatic organisms as well. One way to help prevent swimmer's itch is to avoid feeding or attracting waterfowl to swimming areas. Swim away from the shoreline, and if you do swim in an area that is known to have swimmer's itch, you should thoroughly dry yourself with a towel as soon as you exit the water.

Ultraviolet radiation - By being aware of the local UV Index you can protect yourself from the harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Click here to see the current UV index forecast for your location and to learn more about ultraviolet radiation and how it affects us.

Check out the EMPACT SunWise program to see how an EMPACT project is bringing information on UV radiation to kids in grades K-8.


home what's new about us contact us
faq's site map links