Beach Water Quality

Beach Alert: We monitor water quality at beaches from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Check conditions before entering the water, avoid contact with blue-green algae, and stay out of the water if posted signs say “closed for swimming.”

Olin BeachFrom Memorial Day to Labor Day, we test water at the beaches listed below for E.coli bacteria and cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) and their toxins to protect swimmers and other recreational water users. If a water test shows concerning results, the beach will close for swimming until levels of E. coli bacteria or blue-green algae decline.

For more information on how we test, see How We Monitor Beach Water Quality.

Before Swimming

Always take an overall look at water conditions. Conditions can change quickly, and testing results may not always reflect real-time water quality. Swimming is not advisable after a heavy rainfall because bacteria levels in the water may be high.

  • Avoid contact with blue-green algae blooms which appear blue-green, green, reddish-purple, or brown, and cause the water to be murky. Blue Green Algae Precautions.
  • Do not swim or let your pet swim if we have posted signs that say the water is closed for swimming due to blue-green algae blooms or high bacteria levels.
  • Know Before You Go

    Often, when one beach is closed for swimming, others are open. Check before you head out the door. This webpage is updated daily with current beach water quality conditions. You can also subscribe to get email notifications or follow us on Facebook or Twitter (@publichealthmdc) for notifications.

    Request Testing for Your Water Event

    If you are hosting an event where people will be in the water, you might consider additional testing for E.coli and blue-green algae. See our fact sheet for different options and costs. Contact us at 608-243-0357 to schedule services.