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EPA's BEACH Report:
Wisconsin 2010 Swimming Season
May 2011
Introduction
The BEACH Act of 2000 requires that coastal and
Great Lakes states and territories report to EPA on
beach monitoring and notification data for their
coastal recreation waters. The BEACH Act defines
coastal recreation waters as the Great Lakes and
coastal waters (including coastal estuaries) that
states, territories, and authorized tribes officially
recognize or designate for swimming, bathing,
surfing, or similar activities in the water.
This fact sheet summarizes beach monitoring and
notification data submitted to EPA by the State of
Wisconsin for the 2010 swimming season.
Wisconsin contracted with 16 individual health
departments in 13 counties to conduct the routine
monitoring of 118 beaches along Lake Superior and
Lake Michigan. In 2010, its eighth year of its beach
program, Wisconsin evaluated and redistributed
allocations to each of the contractors based on a
number of factors, including the number of high,
medium, or low priority beaches; a minimum
sample frequency for each beach; and estimated
travel costs for field sampling. Wisconsin continued
to use secure on-line input forms to update
information about beaches, monitoring stations,
and personnel on the Wisconsin Beach Health
website. The public website displayed the current
advisory status for all beaches and provided
information on beach conditions and water
quality. An automatic e-mail messaging service
and a RSS feed service provided daily updates
on beach conditions to the public. Wisconsin had
580 people receiving beach advisories via e-mail
in 2010. Additionally, Wisconsin had 62,000 visits
to the Wisconsin Beach health website last year,
an increase of 30% over 2009. The average number
of unique visitors to the website was 333 per day
throughout the beach season of Memorial Day
through Labor Day, an increase of 50 percent from
2009.
Counties throughout the State continue to adopt
inland beach monitoring programs using guidance
developed from the coastal BEACH Act program.
Popular swimming beaches at state parks and
forests were tested at least four times each week
with results posted on the Wisconsin Beach
1-Iealth website.
Figure 1. Wisconsin coastal counties.
Marinette
Oconto
Brown
Manitowoc
Sheboygan
Ozaukee
Milwaukee
Racine
Kenosha
Table 1. Breakdown of monitored and
unmonitored coastal beaches by
county for 2010.
County
Total
Beaches
Monitored
Not
Monitored
ASHLAND
7
7
0
BAYFIELD
19
16
0
BROWN
3
3
0
DOOR
31
31
0
DOUGLAS
12
12
0
IRON
5
5
0
KENOSHA
5
5
0
KEWAUNEE
2
2
0
MANITOWOC
9
9
0
MILWAUKEE
11
11
0
OZAUKEE
7
7
0
RACINE
2
2
0
SHEBOYGAN
8
8
0
TOTALS
118
118
0

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2010 Summary Results
How many notification actions were reported and
how long were they?
When water quality standards are exceeded at a
particular beach, Wisconsin issues a beach advisory
that warns people to avoid contact with the water.
A total of 91 monitored beaches had at least one
advisory issued during the 2010 swimming season.
About 82 percent of Wisconsin's 532 notification
actions lasted two days or less. Figure 2 presents a full
breakdown of notification action durations.
What percentage of days were beaches under a
notification action?
The summer of 2010 had frequent rains and many
beaches were under advisories to protect the public
from potentially contaminated water. Actions were
reported less than eight percent of the time (Figure 3).
How do 2010 results compare to previous years?
Table 2 compares 2010 notification action data with
monitored beach data from previous years.
What pollution sources possibly affect investigated
monitored beaches?
Figure 4 displays the percentage of Wisconsin's
investigated monitored beaches possibly affected
by various pollution sources. In 2010, 85 percent
of the beaches reported that possible sources were
unidentified. Storm-related runoff was listed as
a possible source of pollution at 14 percent of the
beaches.
For More Information
For general information about beaches:
www.epa.gov/beaches/
For information about beaches in Wisconsin:
www.wibeaches.us
Figure 2: Beach notification actions by duration.
a nn _
369
350-
300-
250-
 200-
 150-
o
100-
92
69



1
2	3-7	8-30
Duration of Actions (days)
>30
Figure 3:
Table 2. Beach notification actions, 2008-2010.

2008
2009
2010
Number of monitored
beaches
120
122
118
Number of beaches
affected by notification
actions
84
63
91
Percentage of beaches
affected by notification
actions
70%
52%
77%
Percentage of beach days
affected by notification
actions
7%
4%
8%
Figure 4: Percent of investigated monitored beaches
affected by possible pollution sources (85 beaches).
Investigated I no sources found
Non-storm related runoff
Storm-related runoff
Agricultural runoff
Boat discharge
Cone, animal feeding operation
Combined sewer overflow
Sanitary sewer overflow
Publicly-owned treatment works
Sewer line leak or break
Septic system leakage
Wildlife
Other (identified) source(s)
Unidentified source(s)
Percent of beaches
40 50 60 70
80 90 100
Note: A single beach may
have multiple sources.
85
Beach days
with no action
10,668
	 (92.2%)
Beach days with
and without
notification
actions.
Beach days
with an action:
898
(7.8%)

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