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Several Milwaukee beaches advise guests to swim at own risk due to high bacteria levels

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Posted at 10:18 AM, Jul 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-17 18:04:28-04

Bradford Beach was closed Friday after heavy rains from Wednesday's storms elevated bacteria levels. Milwaukee County Parks changed the beach status to 'caution,' advising beach goers to swim at your own risk and not to ingest water.

The Wisconsin DNR and USGS listed Bradford Beach, along with Lakeshore State Park, McKinley Beach, and Southshore Beach, were closed due to the elevated bacteria levels. Now, north shore beaches were closed, including Atwater Beach and Doctor's Park.

"We received a lot of different types of rain. And so after testing the waters, we have basically given an advisory to say do not swim in our beaches due to that poor water quality," said County Executive David Crowley.

Despite having signs being closed, several beachgoers on Friday morning shared concerns about a lack of warning along the beachfront.

"We thought it was fine to jump in," said Vivianne Jende. "We had no clue, at all."

Milwaukee County Parks Executive Director Guy Smith released the following statement:

"Before any trip to the beach we recommend a visit to https://www.milwcountybeaches.org/. The site includes great information to help you keep your family safe by showing the current UV level risk, air quality levels, rip tides risk and, of course, the water quality levels. The City of Milwaukee Health Department manages the water quality monitoring, and they also provide the guidance for signage standards at the beaches, which is the standard for all beaches in Wisconsin."

To view which beaches are open, click here.

Officials with the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage Department said there was not a sewage spill, despite what was listed on the Beach Health website.

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