Beach and surface water samples are taken from Rock County waterways from May through September and are analyzed at the Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene for Ecoli. Surface water bodies with the highest chance for human exposure, such as licensed beaches, are tested on a weekly basis. Other locations such as boat launches or areas where swimming is prohibited are tested less frequently. Ecoli readings of 1000 cfu/100mL (CFU is a colony forming unit) will result in a closing of a licensed beach and 235 cfu/100ml indicates an advisory water quality condition according to EPA guidelines.
Blue Green Algae
Blue green algae or cyanobacteria, are potentially harmful organisms that may be present at certain times in Rock County waterways. People and pets should avoid contact with water if it looks murky and a bloom appears to be in progress.
Symptoms of exposure to blue green algae include stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, headache, fever, muscle weakness and difficulty breathing. If you think you have been exposed to blue green algae and are experiencing symptoms, contact your doctor or the Poison Information Hotline (800-222-1222) as soon as possible.
If your pet displays symptoms such as seizures, vomiting, or diarrhea after contact with surface water, contact your veterinarian right away.