The Erie County Health Department samples water from 25 beaches along Lake Erie and the Sandusky Bay. These samples are collected Monday through Friday from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The water is taken to our Regional Response Water Laboratory, where it is tested for Escherichia coli (E.coli). As bacteria levels change, the health department will post water quality signs at selected locations. The health department will also update BeachGuard, where sampling results can be found for the entire state of Ohio.
During the recreational season, the health department also monitors for Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs). HABs are large growths of bacteria that can produce harmful toxins to humans or pets. These toxins may cause a rash, allergic reaction, stomach-aches, diarrhea, vomiting, or dizziness. It is important to avoid swallowing lake water and learn how to identify HABs.