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Oceans, Lakes, and Rivers

CDC’s Healthy Swimming web site is heavily focused on swimming in chlorinated and disinfected swimming venues. Below you will find useful information from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other groups that is focused on natural bodies of water like oceans, lakes, and rivers. Please remember that the six “PLEAS” for prevention of recreational water illnesses apply equally to swimming at the lake or the pool.

State Beach Bacterial Monitoring Program Information

This site posts recent beach monitoring information for coastal and Great Lakes states. Visit this site to find out if selected beaches are open for swimming based on recent bacterial testing results.

Local Beach Information

Check out whether your local beach is monitoring bacterial levels and whether the water is open (information available from EPA and is only for U.S. coastal/marine and Great Lakes beaches).

Beach Watch

EPA's homepage for their beach protection activities includes beach reports, references, action plans, upcoming meetings, and frequently asked questions.

EPA Brochure: "Before You Go to the Beach"

brochure sample

Since many factors affect the water quality at the beach, it is important for you to know about the environmental conditions that affect water quality. This brochure tells you what you need to know about beach water pollution, the health risks associated with swimming in polluted water, and who to contact if you think the water at the beach is contaminated.

(Acrobat PDF document, 82 KB)

NEEAR Water Study

The National Epidemiological and Environmental Assessment of Recreational (NEEAR) Water Study is a collaborative research study between two laboratories of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study is investigating human health effects associated with recreational water use and the relationship to new and rapid water quality measurement methods. This study will provide real-time water quality measurements and help us better understand the link between water pollution, swimming at the beach, and peoples' health. The main goal of the NEEAR Water Study is to determine how new ways of measuring water pollution can be used effectively to protect swimmers' health.

* Links to non-Federal organizations found at this site are provided solely as a service to our users. These links do not constitute an endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the Federal Government, and none should be inferred. CDC is not responsible for the content of the individual organization Web pages found at these links.

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Content Source: Division of Parasitic Diseases, National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-borne, and Enteric Diseases
Page last modified: May 1, 2007