The Watershed Center’s summer beach E. Coli testing has expanded to three more beaches this summer, plus seven inland lakes.  Testing will be conducted once a week on Wednesdays from June 5 through August 28.

Great Lakes beaches being tested are:

  • Northport
  • Suttons Bay Marina Park
  • Suttons Bay South Shore Park
  • Greilickville Harbor Park
  • West End Beach
  • Clinch Park
  • Bryant Park
  • East Bay Park
  • Traverse City State Park
  • Acme Bayside Park
  • Empire
  • Frankfort


Inland lake beaches being tested are:

  • Twin Lakes Park
  • Long Lake– Gilbert and Taylor beaches
  • Duck Lake–Interlochen State Park
  • Crystal Lake– Beulah and Bellows beaches
  • LakeAnn–Almira Township Park
  • LakeLeelanau–Neddows Beach
  • South Bar Lake

Testing is performed in partnership with the City of Traverse City, Grand Traverse County Health Department and the Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department.

The same three advisory system will be used as in previous years.  Results are posted on signs at beaches:

  • Level 1: No tag – E. Coli levels meet MDEQ swimming standards for full body contact
  • Level 2: Yellow tag – E. Coli levels meet MDEQ standards for wading, fishing and boating. Contact above the waist is not advised
  • Level 3: Red tag – E. Coli levels exceed MDEQ standards; no body contact is advised
  • Level 4: Red tag Health Alert – Excessive E. Coli levels and/or known gross contamination; avoid any kind of contact with beach waters.

When any Level 2 or higher index is issued, the affected surface waters will be sampled and monitored until contamination levels return to acceptable levels.

Weekly results are posted on the state’s beach monitoring database.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality provided funding for the new inland lake testing.  Funding for the Great Lakes beaches comes from the DEQ, through BEACH Act funds distributed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.    Funding for Acme Bayside Park comes from a Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians grant to Acme Township.  Funding for Suttons Bay Marina Park is through a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant from the U.S. EPA, which is part of a nearly $1 million grant for runoff improvements.

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