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Western U.P. Health Department announced the re-opening of seven bathing beaches on Saturday when a new round of water testing indicated that it was safe to swim. Aside from the seven re-opened locations, all other Western U.P. waters remain closed to recreational activities, including swimming.
Surface water samples collected at many inland lakes and Lake Superior beaches still have high levels of E.coli and/or fecal coliform bacteria in excess of Michigan DEQ and U.S. EPA standards for body contact. The presence of E.coli and fecal coliforms means that the water has been contaminated by animal and/or human waste and exposure carries a significant health risk.
The beaches re-opened for recreation so far include: Second Sand Beach north of L’Anse, Fort Wilkins State Park in Copper Harbor, Bete Gris Beach, Eagle Harbor, Calumet Waterworks Park, Lake Medora, and Porcupine Mountains State Park west of Silver City.
It is summer in the U.P. and the Fourth of July Holiday is fast approaching. WUPHD is aware that area residents are eager to access beaches and recreational waters. To help make sure everyone is able to do that as quickly and safely as possible, the department is conducting on-going water sampling and testing.
Residents will be updated as conditions change and additional beaches are opened. Announcements will be made to the media and posted at www.wupdhd.org. If you have questions regarding swimming safety, contact WUPHD at (906) 482-7382.