Lake Erie Beach Advisory Trends (9/3/04 version)
The Ohio Department of Health began monitoring Lake Erie beaches in the late 1960s, using fecal coliform as the indicator species. In 1996, the indicator was switched to E. coli because it was shown to be a better indicator of potential health risks to humans than fecal coliform. If beach water quality fails to meet the standards set for E. coli, ODH recommends the beach be posted to advise against swimming. Research has shown that higher bacteria counts are influenced by rainfall events (NPS run-off), high winds that stir up lake sediments, and long calm periods with high temperatures.