Surf the net before you go swimming


By Ron Brohm - Contributing writer



Pictured is the campground beach at Indian Lake.

Pictured is the campground beach at Indian Lake.


Photos by Ron Brohm

This sign at Buck Creek State Park shows color photos and information depicting which type of waters are safe and which are not safe to swim in.


Photos by Ron Brohm

With all the news surrounding beach closings and swim advisories in recent years, it’s easy to become concerned about local lakes and knowing which ones are safe to go swimming in.

It’s been a hot summer so far and many have been heading to local beaches to cool off. But before you make that trip to one of the many fine local beaches in the area, be sure to check and see if there is any current algae/bacteria advisory or beach-closing notices.

Generally, most beaches are open every day of the summer and are deemed OK to swim in, but each summer there are a handful of beaches that end up on the weekly advisory list.

Testing and monitoring of Ohio’s public beaches is done in a cooperative effort with the Ohio Department of Health, Ohio Department of Natural Resources and local health departments, according to “the Bathing Beach Monitoring Program,” which oversees Ohio’s beaches.

Here’s how it works. Water samples are collected at the beaches and tested. The results are then reported to the public. If the water sample results from a lake are greater than the recreational standards that have been set, an advisory is posted to warn swimmers of the risk of illness.

When an advisory is posted it will remain posted until a follow-up sample result is acceptable.

This monitoring system is called the “Beach Guard system” and it allows all local beach managers to post their real-time beach monitoring results and notifications online, which then allows the public to view any beach advisories that might be in place.

The 3 levels of Beach Advisories

According to the “Bathing Beach Monitoring Program” and “Beach Guard,” beach advisories fall into three separate categories: yellow, orange and red.

BeachGuard – Yellow Flag

This is 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 with 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

Additionally, posted at the actual beaches are signs, with color photos and information depicting which type of waters are safe and which are not safe to swim in.

If you have any questions about a specific beach it is recommended you call the beach or park office directly.

Beach Monitoring Hotlines and Websites

• Toll-free Beach info line: 1-866-OHIO BCH (1-866-644-6224)

• Google “beachguard Ohio” and use BeachGuard to check current advisories and sign up for alert notifications.

The Bathing Beach Monitoring Program

http://odh.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odh/know-our-programs/bathing-beach-monitoring/welcome-to-bathing-beach-monitoring

• http://publicapps.odh.ohio.gov/beachguardpublic/subscribe

• www.facebook.com/ohiohealthybeaches

• General information: 614-644-7464

Area Public Beaches

Believe it or not, Ohio has over 150 public swimming beaches with over 70 on Lake Erie alone and nearly all of Ohio’s 70 state parks have swimming beaches. This doesn’t even includes private/pay beaches at resort-type venues or the numerous beaches at private campgrounds throughout the state.

Here is a list of some popular local beaches at nearby public lakes:

Kiser Lake Beach

Buck Creek Beach

Indian Lake Old Field Beach

Indian Lake Fox Island Beach

Indian Lake Campground Beach

Grand Lake Camp Beach

Grand Lake Main East Beach

Grand Lake Main West Beach

Grand Lake Windy Point Beach

Lake Loramie Beach

Current Ohio Beach Advisories are listed below:

ROCKY FORK – SOUTH – (Yellow Flag) Rocky Fork Lake Highland County

BUCKEYE LAKE – CRYSTAL BEACH – (Yellow Flag) Buckeye Lake Fairfield County

GRAND LAKE ST. MARYS – CAMP- (Red Flag) Grand Lake Auglaize County GRAND LAKE ST. MARYS – MAIN EAST-(Red Flag) Grand Lake Auglaize County GRAND LAKE ST. MARYS – MAIN WEST-(Red Flag) Grand Lake Auglaize County GRAND LAKE ST. MARYS – WINDY POINT-(Red Flag) Grand Lake Auglaize County IZAAK WALTON LEAGUE LOVELAND- (Yellow Flag) Little Miami River Clermont County SAWMILL CREEK- (Yellow Flag)

Lake Erie Erie County SIMS BEACH – (Yellow Flag) Lake Erie Cuyahoga County MAUMEE BAY STATE PARK (INLAND) – (Yellow Flag) Lake Erie Lucas County EDGEWATER STATE PARK- (Yellow Flag) Lake Erie Cuyahoga County WYOGA LAKE- (Yellow Flag) Wyoga Lake Summit County BAY VIEW WEST- (Yellow Flag) Lake Erie Erie County HEADLANDS STATE PARK- (Yellow Flag) Lake Erie Lake County CRYSTAL LAKE CLUB Crystal Lake- (Yellow Flag) Summit County VILLA ANGELA STATE PARK- (Yellow Flag) Lake Erie Cuyahoga County

COLUMBIA PARK BEACH – (Yellow Flag) Lake Erie Cuyahoga County

CAMP PERRY – (Yellow Flag) Lake Erie Ottawa County CLIFTON BEACH – (Yellow Flag) Lake Erie Cuyahoga County

Pictured is the campground beach at Indian Lake.
https://www.urbanacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/36/2020/06/web1_indianlake.jpgPictured is the campground beach at Indian Lake. Photos by Ron Brohm

This sign at Buck Creek State Park shows color photos and information depicting which type of waters are safe and which are not safe to swim in.
https://www.urbanacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/36/2020/06/web1_sign.jpgThis sign at Buck Creek State Park shows color photos and information depicting which type of waters are safe and which are not safe to swim in. Photos by Ron Brohm

https://www.urbanacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/36/2020/06/web1_lighthouse.jpgPhotos by Ron Brohm

By Ron Brohm

Contributing writer

Ron Brohm is a regular contributor to this newspaper.

Ron Brohm is a regular contributor to this newspaper.