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Family on a beach

The Ohio Department of Health, through a grant from the USEPA, monitors beaches along the Lake Erie shoreline for E. coli bacteria. The monitoring is done in cooperation with many local health departments where the beaches are located. Water samples are collected at the beaches and the results are reported to the public. If the sample results are greater than the recreational standard of 235 colony forming units, an advisory is posted to warn swimmers of the risk of illness associated with water contact. The advisory remains posted until a follow up sample result is below the recreational standard. The Beach Guard system allows local beach managers to post real-time beach monitoring and notification data online, and allows the public to view beach advisories that might be in place.

Click HERE to open the BeachGuard application

What do the different advisories mean?

BeachGuard Yellow Flag

Posted when the level of bad bacteria in the water has reached unsafe levels and could make you sick. Children, the elderly and those in ill health or weakened immune systems are advised not to swim.


BeachGuard Orange Flag

WARNING - An algal bloom is present and/or algal toxins have been detected. Swimming and wading are not recommended for: children, pregnant or nursing women, those with certain medical conditions and pets. For more information go to www.ohioalgaeinfo.com or call 1-866-644-6224


BeachGuard Red Flag

DANGER - Avoid all contact with the water. Algal toxins at unsafe levels have been detected. For more information go to www.ohioalgaeinfo.com or call 1-866-644-6224