Where to Learn About Water Quality This Beach Season

Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District monitors beach water quality at several Lake Erie Beaches to help beachgoers know what to expect when they visit Edgewater and Villa Angela beaches.

Based on morning predictions observed at the beach and Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District data collection, the Great Lakes Nowcast system predicts beach water quality.

These predictions account for recent weather patterns, rainfall, wind direction, and other factors, that can affect bacteria levels in recreational beach water. Bacteria levels can also be affected by nature. Large concentrations of gulls and other shorebirds means larger concentrations of bird poop at the beach. Dog waste in areas near our shores is another contributor of bacteria, which is why it is important to Pick Up Poop.

Advisories related to recreation may or may not be related to water quality. Factors beyond water quality such as wave conditions, rip currents, debris, or other issues can also affect beach recreation.

Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) can affect water quality. When heavy rains produce large volumes of surface runoff, combined sewers may not be able to handle the increase. For this reason, rather than having sewage back up into homes or treatment plants, relief points were designed in the system to release the combined flow to the environment. Those points are called Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs).

Project Clean Lake is NEORSD’s 25-year program that will reduce pollution in Lake Erie by 4 billion gallons per year. Work completed for Project Clean Lake has already led to the elimination of 1.7 billion gallons of overflow from discharging into the environment annually.

There are several ways to access water quality information. You may notice signage on the beach related to water quality. A green sign indicates good water quality, and a red sign indicates poor water quality. You can visit our website at neorsd.org/beaches for more information.  

Kirsten Bull

Communications Coordinator, Communications and Community Relations Department, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District

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Volume 16, Issue 6, Posted 8:14 AM, 06.01.2024