Weekly Sample Results (pdf)
Harmful Algal Blooms
Each year beginning in May and ending in September, Clermont County Public Health performs weekly water sampling of the primary recreational waters in Clermont County. This consists of the two public beaches located at East Fork Lake, the public beach at Stonelick Lake, the Ohio River at New Richmond and the Little Miami River at the Camp Dennison Municipal Park and at Izaak Walton League in Loveland. Public Health samples these waters to test for the presence of E. coli and fecal coliforms which are common indicators of sewage contaminated water.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has classified recreational waters into three distinct categories. The standards established for each category decrease in stringency from bathing water to secondary contact based upon the associated level of risk that would result from the types of activities typically expected in each category of recreational water.
Bathing Waters are defined as swimming areas with a lifeguard, bathhouse, and regular water testing. Primary Contact Waters are suitable for full body contact recreation such as swimming or canoeing but are not necessarily defined as swimming areas. To qualify as a primary contact water, a stream must have at least one pool of 100 square feet which is greater than a depth of three feet. Secondary Contact Waters are suitable for partial body contact such as wading. With such limited contact these waters provide a minimal threat to public health.
Maximum fecal coliform and E. coli counts for each category of recreational water is defined in rule 3745-1-07 of the Ohio Administrative Code. The defined standards are based on the total number of samples taken over a 30 day period. The Ohio Department of Health typically reports and tracks E. coli levels. Whenever standards are exceeded individuals should avoid full body contact in the water source because of increased health risk.
Clermont County Public Health works closely with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Ohio Department of Health to post warnings if public beach samples ever exceed the limits.
The Ohio River at New Richmond typically meets the primary contact use standard. At times, the Ohio River's results have been well within bathing beach standards.
Because of the popularity of canoeing and swimming in the Little Miami River, Public Health began routine testing of the river during the summer of 2000.
The Water and Waste Division of Clermont County Public Health has been conducting the recreational water sampling program since 1991. This ongoing summer program to monitor water quality promotes public health and safety for the residents and visitors enjoying water recreation activities in Clermont County.
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