Beach Testing

Beach Testing Reports

Bacterial levels for the following beaches are monitored weekly, Memorial through Labor Day, and signs are posted at the beaches.

Quarry Lake Park Beach Closed for Season  
Fischer Park Beach Open 5/24/17
Bohners Lake Aukes Beach Closed for Season  
Bohners Lake Leach Beach Closed for Season  
Bohners Lake Public Beach Closed for Season  

Beach Water Quality Testing Brochure

City of Racine Beaches


Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the beach water quality tested?

Beach water quality testing is done to advise swimmers when conditions exist that may lead to illness. Pollution in beach water may be higher during and immediately after rainstorms because surface water draining into the beach may include run-off from the areas surrounding the beach. For this reason, swimmers should always use caution after a rain event.

What is the beach water tested for?

Beach water is tested for the presence of E. coli.

What is E. coli?

E. coli is the abbreviated name for Escherichia coli. The name E. coli encompasses a wide range of bacteria, some of which help us and some of which hurt us. The presence of E. coli in swimming areas means that other disease-causing microorganisms may be present as well.

What illness can I get from swimming in water with harmful microorganisms?

Microorganisms such as E. coli can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache and fever.

What causes beach pollution?

There are many sources of E. coli bacteria, including the following:

  • Animal droppings from geese, dogs, etc.
  • Runoff from residential streets and yards
  • Children having “accidents” in the water

Posted Signs

What do the signs at the beach mean?

CRCHD - Beach safety sign

“Good” signage will be posted when the beach water samples meet the guidelines from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for safe beach water quality. The water is safe to swim in.

CRCHD - Beach safety sign

“Caution” signage will be posted when the levels of E. coli in the beach water samples are elevated above the EPA’s “Good” level but not high enough to close the beach to swimming. If the “Caution” sign is posted, swimmers should make sure that they and their children follow these precautions:

  • Don’t swallow the lake water
  • Shower after swimming
  • Wash hands before eating

CRCHD - Beach safety sign

“Closed” signage will be posted when the levels of E. coli in the beach water samples exceed the EPA’s guidelines for safe swimming water. The water is not safe to swim in.


How You Can Help

Simple actions can reduce the E. coli levels at beaches:

  • Do not swim when you have diarrhea. This is especially important for kids in diapers. You can spread germs in the water and make other people sick.
  • Practice good hygiene. Take a shower before swimming and wash your hands after using the toilet or changing a diaper. Germs on your body end up in the water.
  • Take your children on bathroom breaks or check diapers often. Waiting to hear “I have to go” may mean that it is too late.
  • Change diapers in a bathroom and not on the beach. We recommend the use of swim diapers while swimming.
  • Wash your child thoroughly (especially the rear end) with soap and water before swimming. Everyone has some amount of fecal matter on their bottoms that could end up in the water.
  • Do not feed the geese or other waterfowl.
  • If pets are allowed on the beach make sure to dispose of your pet’s waste properly.