Summer-time means that more people are looking to pools and lakes to cool off. But what’s in the water we’re swimming in, and how do we know it’s safe to swim?
The Vigo County Parks and Recreation Department takes water quality very seriously when it comes to their swimming lakes, called ‘bathing beaches.’
“For our bathing beaches at Hawthorne Park and Fowler Park, it’s not just as simple as opening our beach for swimming,” says Adam Grossman, Parks and Rec Assistant Superintendent.
The lake water at both Hawthorne and Fowler Parks are monitored on a weekly basis to ensure that the water quality is within the state guidelines. And water quality isn’t the only thing they monitor to make the lakes swimmer-friendly.
Indiana has a long to-do list of safety requirements for bathing beaches at parks.
“There’s a certain amount of sand that has to be in the shallow end of the delineated swimming area. We have to have buoys out. We have to have ropes out. We have to delineate between the shallow and deep end of the swimming area. We have to have so much of an area dedicated per person,” says Grossman.
While it may be tempting, it is not advised to swim in lakes that are not regularly tested for water quality. However, if you must, Grossman says try to look for lakes that are far away from any human activity or geese.