Friday, North and Zoo Beaches were announced as unsafe for swimming, according to the City of Racine Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services Department. The advisory was prompted by Laboratory Staff finding high bacterial counts in their daily water samples. This advisory will remain in effect until bacteria levels are within the accepted limits.
The PCRS Department does what it can to reduce bacteria levels by cleaning the beach every two hours. But this is the environment, so the water quality levels can’t be perfect all the time. At least the beach hasn’t been closed 80% of the season like it used to be in the 1990s, according to Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition.
While it may seem like this is an issue out of citizen control, it’s not. The high bacteria levels are influenced by unfiltered stormwater and/or wastewater. What filters the water? Native plants and grasses. With so much concrete these days, the water doesn’t get filtered much. But there are things you can do at home to keep our beaches open.
A few solutions that Root-Pike WIN advocates to help Racine beaches are:
- Inspect your car regularly to stop oil and fluid leaks.
- Don’t wash your car on your driveway, do it on the lawn or take it to a carwash.
- Clean up after your pets right away, even at home.
- Leave grass clippings on the lawn or compost them.
- Redirect downspouts away from the sewer or driveway.
- Test your soil before you fertilize.
- Capture rainwater with a rain garden and trees.
Read more about the environment.