AND   TRIBUTARY

        BACTERIAL

  WATER  QXJALITY
DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR
Federal Water  Pollution Control Administration
Great  Lakes Region                 june  1%9

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                                      OOOR69015
      LAK.1 ERIE D/'THiNG  B^ACH  AND TRIBUTARY
       BACTERIAL WATER QUAUTY - -Ju.'-.E  i 969
            ,'„''•" " "' '    J
            &30 South '     ••
                 ',o, Illinois
                    'CMT OF THE  INTERIOR
FEDERAL WATER POLLUTK:  COXTRO,.  ADMINISTRATION
              GREAT LA;\ES REGION
            LAKE ERIE DASiN CFFiCE

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                LAKE ERIE BATHING BEACH AND TRIBUTARY
                 BACTERIAL WATER QUALITY - JUNE  1969
     Bacterial  water quality Information for the  Lake Erie basin  waters

has been characteristically Inadequate for more than  cursory evalua-

tions.  The gathering of data has been Improving  In recent years  and

continues to show Improvement by both state and federal  agencies.  Be-

cause of the general paucity of historical data It is difficult,  If not

Impossible, to comment with certainty on trends In bacterial water

quality.  However, from the existing Information  a base picture of bac-

terial conditions Is emerging with which to compare future conditions.

     This summary includes data gathered during the summers of 1967,

1968, and 1969 at Lake Erie beaches and also limited tributary data

gathered In June 1969.

     Comparison of beach water quality data for the three years (Tables

I  and 2) shows In general no significant differences In bacterial qual-

ity.  Figure I, depicting general water quality In the summer of  1967

at most public beaches, appears to be true also at the present, June

1969.  Although 1969 data will undoubtedly add to the precision In de-

scribing beach water quality, there Is  little reason to expect that the

conditions shown on Figure I will change significantly.  Conditions at

beaches within larger municipalities, especially  In  larger cities, are

worse than elsewhere.  The Cleveland beaches, without exception,  are

outstandingly unsafe bacterially (Tables 2 and 3).

     The presence of fecal coliforms and the ratios of fecal coliforms

to fecal streptococci, (see Tables I and 3) generally exceeding 2 to  I,

indicate that the source of bacteria Is, more often than not, domestic

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sewage.  The expected sources are combined sewer overflows  and  sewage




treatment plant effluents.  Pathogen data are not yet available for




1969, but 1964 analyses revealed no SaI mono I I a at nny of  the  beaches




tested In 1964.




     Bacterial data gathered thus far in 1969 within the  lower  reaches




of tributaries (Table I) are showing generally expected results.   The




most polluted tributaries, as they were in 1964 (Lake Erie  Environmental




Summary,  1963-1964, FWPCA) are the Cuyahoga,  Grand,  Rocky,  Maumee,  and




Buffalo Rivers.  The Ashtabula and Black Rivers are  not far behind. None




of the 15 tributaries tested thus far would indicate safety for body




contact uses.  All  appear to be contaminated  by domestic  sewage.   Salmon-




el la were isolated  in 1964 from samples of most tributaries.   Pathogen




data for 1969 are not yet available.




     Coliform data  gathered within the lake in 1963  and 1964  (Lake Erie




Environmental Summary,  1963-1964, FWPCA) showed that nearshore  areas were




generally more contaminated than midlake waters and  that  bacterial  numbers




dropped off rapidly to acceptable values at distances of  one-half  mile  or




less from shore.   Data now being gathered (since Mnrch 1968)  at south




shore municipal water intakes in general confirm the 1963-1964  evaluations.




However at times  bacterial numbers climb at some intakes  to unexpectedly




high values.  The high numbers are invariably associated  with higher winds




and/or precipitation.  Coliform numbers in the hundreds of  thousands  per




100 ml Mi liters are occasionally measured at  the Port Clinton intake, and




in several  thousands at many others such as Vermilion, Mentor,  Painesville,




and Madison.




     The Federal  Water Pollution Control Administration will  continue to

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gather bacterial  data including pathogens at the beaches listed in




Table I, coliform and streptococci  data at the tributaries also listed




in Table I  and at the south shore municipal  water intakes.  In addition




the States of  Michigan,  Ohio, Pennsylvania,  and* New York are expected




to continue monitoring at an increasing number of beaches and at in-




creasing frequencies.

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BEAVERSL AND STAL' PARK
               HANOVER & SUNSET BAY BEACHES
                     WRIGHT; PARK BEACH";
                       PO^NT GRAT10T ,'
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                           LSTFIELD B
                               •(I.D.)[LAKE CITY COMMUNITY_PARK
                                   (ID IASHTABULA TWN. PARK,
        SSHBPNG;STATETARK '
              t/*t>
              £C

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