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Flip Flops

Beach Testing

The Health Department kicks off summer by beginning their beach monitoring program. They monitor local beaches for bacteria and harmful algae blooms throughout the summer, starting Memorial Day weekend, and ending Labor Day weekend. Beaches include, Mead Lake, Rock Dam, Lake Arbutus, and Sherwood Lake.

Summer Fun

There are many species of blue-green algae found in Wisconsin lakes and rivers, but only certain species can produce the algal toxins that cause illness. Not all algal blooms produce toxin; a blue-green algae bloom may not be producing toxins or producing enough toxin to cause a health concern. Larger algal blooms have the potential for higher concentrations of toxin. Unfortunately, there is no immediate way to know if an algal bloom is dangerous or not. It takes at least several days for a laboratory to analyze a water sample to see if toxins are present. During that time, a harmless algal bloom may become more toxic, a toxic algal bloom may become harmless, or the bloom could blow away or dissipate all together. For more information, click here!

Tips to Enjoy Your Days at the Beach

Regardless of which beach you're visiting, some common sense precautions can help you maximize your fun. The following tips will help you stay safe on the water, avoid getting sun burned and avoid getting sick if there are elevated bacteria levels in the water.

  • Never swim alone.

  • Stay in designated swimming areas.

  • Drink plenty of fluids.

  • Wear sunglasses that absorb at least 90 percent of UV sunlight.

  • Wear sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) and a wide-brimmed hat.

  • Spend part of your day in shaded areas.

  • Wash your hands before eating.

  • Shower after swimming.

  • Don't swallow the water.

  • Avoid swimming after heavy rain.

  • Don't swim near storm drains.

Help Keep the Beaches Clean

Citizens in many communities are already playing a role in helping keep their beaches open and clean for swimmers now and in the future. Here are some steps you can take on your own to help protect your favorite beach.

  • Dispose of litter in appropriate beachside containers – especially cigarette butts, diapers and pet waste.

  • Please DO NOT feed gulls and waterfowl. It only encourages the birds to hang out at the beach too, which increases the risk of fecal matter at the beach.

  • Don't enter the water if you are ill.

  • Change diapers and put plastic/rubber pants on diapered children before allowing them in the water.

  • Do not dump anything down storm drains. Encourage and participate in such community activities as painting "Do Not Dump" signs near storm drains.

  • Avoid using fertilizers and pesticides on your yard.

To report a public health emergency or communicable disease after hours, please contact Clark County Dispatch at (715) 743-3157.

Our office is closed on significant holidays & days of recognition. Please click here for more information.  

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