"To ensure healthy summer fun," Health Department once again testing Milwaukee's beach water

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The City of Milwaukee Health Department (MHD) is once again kicking off the summer season by updating beachgoers to the conditions of Milwaukee’s beach water.

“Thanks to a continued partnership between the City of Milwaukee Health Department, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Milwaukee County Parks, we are able to assess water quality conditions at the city’s public beaches to ensure that beachgoers have healthy summer fun,” said Commissioner of Health Bevan Baker.

Water at Milwaukee’s Bradford, McKinley and South Shore beaches is tested from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Water samples are analyzed by both the City of Milwaukee Health Department Public Health Laboratory and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for microbial contaminants (i.e. E. coli) that may indicate potential health risks. Public advisories are posted within 24 hours of collection.

The MHD’s public notification system is guided by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and uses the colors green, yellow and red to indicate current water quality conditions.

In addition to signs (shown below) posted at each of the city’s three Lake Michigan beaches, residents and visitors can find the beach water advisories at http://www.milwaukee.gov/health and http://www.wibeaches.us/.

Green Placard: Risk of illness minimal

However, health official always advise not ingesting water and maintaining awareness of other safety hazards associated with swimming.

Yellow Placard: Risk of illness elevated

When swimming, take precautions such as washing hands prior to eating and showering after swimming.

Red Placard: Swimming not advised

Beach patrons should not enter the water, there is an elevated risk of illness due to exposure to micro-organisms.

For more information, visit www.milwaukee.gov/health.