warning sign at beach

Typical posting of a beach water-quality advisory for high bacteria levels.(photograph above)

The USGS has been working with State and local agencies and academia to strengthen the science of beach monitoring. Data have been collected at three Ohio Lake Erie urban beaches (Edgewater, Villa Angela, and Huntington), two Lake Erie beaches in a less populated area (Mentor Headlands and Fairport Harbor) and one inland-lake beach (Mosquito Lake). In the latest study, water and sediment samples collected during the recreational seasons of 2001 and 2002 were analyzed for concentrations of Escherichia coli (E. coli).

See a mpg video clip (36MB) of USGS scientist, Rob Darner, being interviewed by Tracy Carloss from WEWS-TV Cleveland on May 24, 2006. Rob describes the installation of a buoy with a wave-height measuring device at Edgewater Beach. Precise wave-height data will help estimate bacteria levels, which are needed to improve predictions of recreational water quality at Edgewater. (video clip is courtesy of WEWS-TV, ABC-Cleveland Channel 5.) NOTE: If you are having trouble viewing this video clip, run it all the way through so that your computer commits it to memory, then view it a second time.

Nowcasting News Release *pdf report 108kb

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Frequently Asked Questions


· Forecasting bacteria levels at bathing beaches in Ohio  *pdf report 297kb

· Escherichia coli in the swash zone at four Ohio bathing beaches  *pdf report 297kb

Technical Report

· Escherichia coli at Ohio Bathing beaches—distribution, sources, wastewater indicator, and predictive modeling 

State and Local Agencies and Academia

The cooperating agencies in this study included the Ohio Water Development Authority, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, Cuyahoga County Board of Health, Cuyahoga County Sanitary Engineers, Cuyahoga River Community Planning Organization, and the Ohio Lake Erie Office. The Ohio State University (OSU), Great Lakes Forecasting System (GLFS) collaborated with the USGS on the development of predictive models.

* To view Portable Document Formats (pdf) you will need to download and install the Acrobat® Reader pdf available at no charge from Adobe System

For more information about USGS Beach-Monitoring Research,  please contact Donna Francy, by email or by phone 614.430.7769

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Last update: March, 2003