New MDEQ Minute video shows what causes beach closures and what you can do to help


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It's summertime! Be prepared before you head out to your favorite beaches and rivers.

New video gives info on what causes beach closures and what you can do to help keep them clean and safe.  

Why is my beach closed? beach closed sign

On a hot summer day the last thing you want to see on your lake is a beach closed sign...but why does that happen? Beaches close due to E. coli which are indicators of fecal pathogens that can make you sick if you ingest them or get them on your skin. Your health and your ability to enjoy our waters is a priority of the MDEQ Water Resources Division. 

What's being done?

MDEQ monitors river quality and partners with local health departments to monitor beaches. When we find waters with high E. coli, our staff work with local agencies to identify and correct contamination sources that cause beach closures. For example, we have used canine scent tracking to locate human sewage, fenced cattle out of streams, used  border collies to minimize bird feces on beaches, and re-designed landscapes at beaches to improve water quality. In addition to these efforts, Michigan is the only state using qPCR (quantitative polymerase chain reaction) testing statewide at 15 labs. This newer technology provides results in hours instead of a day and can identify the host animal (human, cow, dog, bird, pig).   

What can you do?MDEQ Minute ecoli video

How do you find out ahead of time if your beach is closed? What can you do to help? Check out our new MDEQ Minute video to learn more.