Independence Lake in Washtenaw County reopens after E. coli outbreak

FILE - Number of Gram-negative Escherichia coli bacteria of the strain O157:H7, revealed in the 6836x magnified scanning electron microscopic.

Washtenaw County Health Department and the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission will keep Independence Lake in Ypsilanti open after discovering high levels of E. coli in the water.

The health department reported increased levels of E. coli bacteria early Thursday in the lake and initially closed all beach activities. 

The high levels first reported are thought to be the result of recent rainstorms and an unusual amount of birds like ducks and geese in the area. 

This is a major risk for residents that can cause stomach issues as well as weakened immune systems.

The high levels were detected through routine testing done at public beaches during the summer months. 

Reopening a lake is dependent on successful tests that indicate lower levels of the bacteria. 

Thursday's testing found amounts of E. Coli to be "below actionable levels". Weekly monitoring will continue.