Milwaukee's Lake Michigan beaches post 'swim at your own risk' warnings

NOW: Milwaukee’s Lake Michigan beaches post ’swim at your own risk’ warnings

Updated: 4:57 p.m. on July 17, 2020 

MILWAUKEE COUNTY (CBS 58) -- There is nothing more refreshing than jumping into the water on a hot summer day but people might want to think twice before getting in here at Bradford Beach.

“It’s actually warmer than usual I’d say. So, it’s pretty refreshing,” said Andres Torres.

Torres came to Bradford Beach to cool off on a hot summer day - along with hundreds of other visitors.

However, there is an advisory in place at Bradford, McKinley and South Shore beaches.

This after the beaches were closed because bacteria levels were too high after Wednesday’s storms.

“Good thing I didn’t go all the way in,” said Torres.

“Disgusting,” said Cecelia Pickard. “I don’t like it. Why aren’t there signs?”

According the department of natural resources website there is an increased risk of illness based on recent monitoring for e-coli bacteria.

The warning was posted on two small signs at Bradford Beach.

Beachgoers say the signs were easy to miss.

“I definitely think they should put signs like on the beach, where the water is. If people listen or not, that’s up to them,” said Gabby Garcia at Bradford Beach. “But it would definitely give us an option.”

Not everyone is concerned.

They’re just happy to be outside enjoying the summer.

“Unless there’s someone saying hey we want you to leave, but again, what we should be getting is vitamin D being outside by the water, it’s good for you,” said Lilly Beyer who said she didn’t mind swimming in the lake. “If everyone is like it’s not safe to go in, you gotta decide what’s going to be best for you.”

The North Shore Health Department says Doctors Park Beach in Fox Point and Atwater Beach in Shorewood are closed today for high bacteria levels.


Published: 12:10 p.m. on July 17, 2020 

MILWAUKEE COUNTY (CBS 58) -- Water quality issues have shut down Milwaukee's Lake Michigan beaches as we head into a very hot weekend. 

The closings were announced Thursday, July 16,and the beaches include Bradford, McKinley, and South Shore. 

The City of Milwaukee health dept. has closed Bradford Beach, McKinley Park Beach and South Shore Park Beach for the weekend of July 17-19 as a precautionary measure due to unhealthy water quality conditions.

Posted by Milwaukee County Parks on Friday, July 17, 2020

The website cites "sewage discharge," but the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District insists that's not the case. 

Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley blames Wednesday's heavy rain for the water issues. 

At this time, there's no indication how long the beaches will be closed. 

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