Tracking swimming advisories at area lakes

OREGON, Ohio (WTVG) - The lake is a popular spot for a trip this year but before you take a dip you might want to make sure the water is safe.

Both Ohio and Michigan track water quality at all of the public beaches and water throughout the state. In Ohio, the Department of Health uses Beachguard. It is a website where you can check bodies of water for swimming advisories.

A yellow flag indicates there is a high level of bacteria in the water, an orange flag indicates there is toxic algae and a red flag advises swimming to stay out.

Right now, there are four public spots with advisories in Northwest Ohio, including: the inland lake at Maumee Bay State Park and Lake Erie near Camp Perry, Bayview and Sawmill Creek. The latest tests indicate each of these spots have a higher than normal level of ecoli bacteria.

Those test results prompted a bacteria contamination alert. According to ODH, children and those with compromised immune systems are advised to find somewhere else to swim.

Despite the warning, plenty of people were enjoying the water at the inland beach at Maumee Bay State Park. Most swimmers didn't even know the bacteria levels were elevated. There are two signs near the beach, but are easy to miss. For others even after they knew, they said it wouldn't spoil their fun, instead they weighed their options, telling 13abc they would rather get sick from the water than COVID-19.

With the virus squashing summer travel plans for many families, staycations are becoming popular. Today there were dozens families enjoying the water.

If you would like to check your local beach before you head out, visit Michigan's website.