This is an official press release from the Western U.P. Health Department. It was released at 12:45 p.m. on Saturday, June 30.
Western U.P. Health Department staff continue to monitor surface water quality at 41 locations throughout the Western Upper Peninsula. Based on the most recent lab results, 18 beach locations are classified as open and safe for swimming, and one additional location is open under an advisory to swim at your own risk. Another 22 sites are closed for swimming due to unsafe levels of harmful bacteria.
Heavy rain events may result in increased bacteria levels due to runoff. In fact, based on test results read Saturday from surface water samples taken Friday, all public beaches monitored on the Portage Waterway were moved from advisory status to closed because of elevated bacteria counts, including Chassell, Dollar Bay, Dreamland, Hancock, Houghton, and McLain State Park on the Portage Canal side of the breakwater. McLain State Park’s beach on the Lake Superior side tested safe for swimming, as did 21 other locations across the region.
Because of heavy rains Friday and Saturday across much of the Western U.P., in the short term there is a likelihood of increased contamination from erosion and runoff at many beaches around the region. Therefore, the public is advised to swim at their own risk at all beach locations that are open or under advisory. To prevent illness, people should avoid ingesting water whenever swimming in lakes. To view a list of beaches being tested and the current status for each, visit wupdhd.org.