Tuesday, June 05, 2007


No swim advisory Dunton Park on Lake Macatawa

A no swimming advisory is in effect for Dunton Park on Lake Macatawa due to levels of E. Coli that exceed the state water quality standards. Environmental Health staff collect water samples from bodies of water throughout the County from Memorial Day through September. Samples are analyzed for various water quality parameters, including bacteria levels, to protect public health and to prevent the spread of disease. Beaches are closed if deemed unsafe to public health.

This is the lake for my triathlon this weekend. I heard it on the news today. I have only had one other tri cancelled due to water quality, and I wasn't too happy doing a duathlon when I hadn't expected it. I'm going to e-mail the race director and see what he says.

I just knew the lake was still too polluted!
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UPDATE: Here is the response I received from my e-mail to the race director:

Good day Tri-athletes,

As most of you are aware a “No Swimming Advisory” ban has been placed at Howard B. Dunton Park. As you know, this is the park where the Lake Macatawa Triathlon takes place. The advisory was instituted by the Ottawa County Health Department. If the ban stays in place through the weekend, obviously, the swim course for the triathlon will not be an option. Here is what we know so far and the steps we plan to take, if necessary:

- The ban was instituted over the weekend due to the high levels of E. coli based on the sample that was taken late last week. We were informed late Friday via fax. I have been in contact with the Ottawa County Health Department in the hopes of finding out when they test again and what our options might be. I have been told that they will be testing Dunton Park, today, and hope to have results by Wednesday afternoon. They will inform me right away once the results are in.
- If the ban is lifted we will move forward with the race as we have in the past. If the ban is not lifted and we are forced to remove the swim portion of the race, we will probably have some sort of “Run, Bike, Run” in which the initial “Run” would be a shorter course of 2 miles or less that would begin and end in the transition area and then the original bike and run courses would be the same as before. It is not set in stone that we will do this, but it is something we have thought of and are prepared for, if necessary. We still are holding out hope that all will be fine for the entire race course and we’ll have a great day for the event. If not, my staff will still do their best to make the event an enjoyable one for those that choose to participate

Let me make this very clear…this issue involves the Ottawa County Health Department and if they say something is not right, we will follow their lead. The E. coli issue has come up before and we take it very seriously. The last thing we want is for a participant to be harmed in any way. However, with the exception of one year (1997) in which a major storm hit us on race day, the event has gone on. I appreciate and respect the Ottawa County health Department for their concern and their leadership in helping to make our event as safe as can be. If they say we can’t swim in Lake Mac we will make the best of it. As soon as
I am made aware of the test results, I will e-mail you, post it on our web site (
www.hct.holland.mi.us), as well as leave a message on my voice mail and e-mail. We hope to have answers by Wednesday afternoon.

Thank you for your patience and positive comments. As tough as it is to organize a race like this our staff puts a lot of time and effort into it and to not have it run as is would be a blow to us as well. Keep us in your thoughts for the next 24 hours or so and, hopefully, all will go as planned. Have a great day and thank you for your continued support.

Darrin Duistermars
Recreation Director
Holland Township

I am hoping with the cooler weather we are having today and tomorrow at least this may clear up, but I am almost figuring it won't be a tri!


Phoenix said...

Total bummer! I would be so disappointed!

bunnygirl said...

Wow. Looks like it's going to be a du, huh?

On the bright side, isn't it nice they at least check?

Fe-lady said...

Bummer...as someone who loves to swim in open water I would be SO mad. How do things like this happen? Poopy diapers? Sewer run off?
If you DO end up swimming...keep your mouth closed as much as possible anyway! yikes!

Lisa - Slow & Steady said...


At least the race will be on one way or another since plan B is a duathlon, even though you planned for a triathlon, it is better than being canceled all together.

Hope it works out well!!

TxTriSkatemom said...

um, I'd be *thrilled* but that's just me.... I hope the water clears up so you can have the race you trained for.

Still, though. Ick.