LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources wants everyone to have a safe and relaxing time at the beach this summer. Here are some of their tips for finding that perfect beach location.
Check beach conditions before you leave so you have an idea of what weather to expect, and the quality of the water you will be traveling to. You can check water quality conditions of more than 100 Great Lakes beaches and more than 100 inland beaches on the Wisconsin Beach Health website.
The DNR says not to go swimming after heavy rains. Runoff from those rains pick up sediments and contaminants before entering lakes and rivers, which will affect the water quality at beaches.
Bacteria loads are typically higher after heavy rains, so pay attention to what the water looks like before going in it. Blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, are microscopic organisms naturally found in lakes, streams and ponds at low levels. As conditions become more favorable during the summer, algae numbers increase dramatically. Certain algae species contain toxins that can cause health problems when ingested.
Finally, be sure to wash off after swimming to reduce the chance of irritation or allergenic effects. Wash off any pets that have spent time in the water as well.
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