Good Question: How can you check on water quality at local beaches?

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — It has been an unusual summer for air quality. If you weren’t already familiar with the Air Quality Index, you probably were after the Rochester area was breathing in the smoke from hundreds of wildfires burning in Canada.

How about water quality? Does the public have a way to check on water quality, especially in Lake Ontario?

In the summertime, local beaches come to life. If you’re among Rochester’s many beach lovers, you might have this question, too. Kristin writes: “I do like to swim sometimes at Durand Beach and have had difficulty finding a good source to check that water quality daily.”

There are a couple of different ways you can check. The state parks website has an interactive map that shows levels of bacteria like E. coli in the water at state parks. According to the website, the water “is sampled at least once a week for bacterial indicators of impaired water quality.”

That’s just for state parks, though, like Hamlin Beach and Stony Brook. If you’re looking for information on beaches managed by Monroe County, you can call 585-753-5887.

There’s also a website called the Swim Guide which assigns a score to local bodies of water based on weekly tests. If you visit that state park interactive map, you’ll notice different color dots on beaches across the state.

A green dot means the beach is open. Yellow means it’s open with an advisory. The red means it’s closed. Click on any of those dots and you’ll find a link to more information on the state’s website.

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