As heard July 1, 2011, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM
Before you go to the beach, check the internet.
The sun may be shining, but not all Michigan beaches may be ready, or safe, for swimming this summer.
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality reminds beachgoers to check an online database to ensure that their favorite beach will be open for swimming.
The DEQ works with local health departments to monitor water quality at 1,210 of Michigan’s public beaches. Water quality at certain beaches can be impacted by runoff and sewer overflows during extended rain events.
As of Thursday morning, contamination advisories were posted for eight beaches in Michigan, including two in Roscommon County and one in Arenac County.
Beach results are reported on a daily basis on the DEQ’s BeachGuard Web site.
Michigan’s 2010 annual beach monitoring report also is available online.
Beach monitoring work is paid for with federal and state funds.
December is the deadline for Great Lakes states to fully implement conservation and efficiency programs and measures under an international Compact.
According to a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council, Great Lakes states have some catching up to do after missing deadlines from last year.
Great Lakes Echo reports that Wisconsin came close, and states like New York have recently passed legislation. But no states are in full compliance with the compact timeline.
It’s not too late to come into compliance. The NRDC report suggests ways states can meet requirements of the agreement, such as setting conservation water rates, requiring meters on homes and apartments and fixing leaks or breaks in water systems.
Michigan has developed an online screening tool for water use, according to the report, but the state didn’t follow recommendations from its own advisory committee while drafting goals and objectives.
[…] E. coli is a common indicator bacteria used by health departments to test beach waters. […]