Dangerous E. coli bacteria at Wisconsin beaches
Todd Hicks and The WTMJ News Team
Photo: Video by tmj4.com
MILWAUKEE - A day at the beach could be harmful to your health.
The long, hot summer has triggered some alarming conditions at Wisconsin's beaches. Some are so bad that they've been shut down.
"No I didn't [see the warning signs]," Lynn Hack says. "I didn't see the warning signs or I wouldn't be here."
The contamination is from E. coli bacteria. If you swallow the water, you'll likely get sick. These bacteria problems have happened at South Shore in Milwaukee before. The beach is documented as one of the worst for persistent problems.
"I'd maybe let them put their feet in at Bradford [Beach], and that's it," Hack says of her kids.
Part of the problem at South Shore is the parking lot. Experts say rain picks up chemicals and bacteria and the runoff eventually ends up in the sand and then in the water.
"We've seen South Shore Beach closed 60 percent of the time," City of Milwaukee Health Department Disease Control Director Paul Biedrzycki says.
"That's up, an increase of 20 percent over last year."
It's been an ongoing problem this summer with the hot, dry weather.
"We're seeing elevated levels of bacteria at all the beaches due to the warm lake temperatures," Biedrzycki says.
Health officials say before heading into the water at any beach in southeast Wisconsin, you should look for any posted warning signs.