Madison: Water Quality Monitoring Underway in Dane County
Wisconsin Eagle/10232643

~ On Wednesday, Public Health Madison & Dane County closed Spring Harbor beach (1918 Norman Way, Madison) for swimming due to a large blue-green algae bloom in the water.

Jennifer Lavender-Braun, Microbiologist for Public Health Madison & Dane County, noted that this early-season bloom is indicative of changing weather patterns due to climate change. The bloom is turquoise in color with white scum floating on top.

Public Health Lab staff have begun their annual water quality monitoring at local beaches from Memorial Day through Labor Day. If a test shows concerning results, signs are posted at the beach and the website is updated to indicate that people should stay out of the water. Once acceptable levels are returned, staff remove the signs and update the website.

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Lavender-Braun advises people to check conditions online before heading out and if they see algal blooms in the water, it's best to stay away. Should people discover they are in the water near a bloom, it is important that they avoid swallowing water and rinse off well when they get out. Dogs that have been in water near a bloom should also be rinsed well and a vet should be called if they seem ill after.

If someone suspects an algae bloom at a beach, Lavender-Braun suggests avoiding the water and calling (608) 243-0357 or e-mailing so someone can check on the water quality conditions at that beach. People can also check to see if their beach is open by checking online or signing up for beach condition alerts.

Filed Under: Government, City

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