Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Northeast Ohio's Beaches Are Kind of Disgusting

Posted By on Wed, Jul 11, 2012 at 12:21 PM


While local officials wrangle with Governor John Kasich about turning over three state-run beaches — Edgewater, Euclid, and Villa Angela — to the Metroparks in hopes of better maintenance, it’s easy to miss a fine point: No number of improved restrooms, new grills and picnic benches, or more frequent trash pickup will make these beaches actually good for getting in the water.

In fact, Euclid Beach and Villa Angela rate among the 20 most contaminated swimming venues in the country, according to a Natural Resources Defense Council report issued a couple weeks ago.

What’s the water contaminated with?

Shit, basically. Our aging storm sewer system burps every now and then, especially when it rains. When that happens, it overflows the sanitary sewers before spewing the toxic mix into Lake Erie through drains placed inconveniently close to these three beaches.

The water at each beach is tested every day, and Villa Angela is the worst; the water is unfit for bathing half the time. Euclid Beach is next up with 43 of every 100 tests showing dangerous bacteria levels. Edgewater comes in with just over a quarter of its daily water tests signaling caution.

Warning signs should be posted anytime the water is crawling with the creepy things normally found in poop; but according to current standards, the water is deemed safe if only one in 28 people might get sick from being in it.

Staph infections of the skin and eyes, rashes, and — if you swallow the water — hepatitis and meningitis could be yours if you swim on the wrong day.

But there is some good news along the North Shore as the most sweltering days of summer approach. Some of our beaches rate pretty well. Bay Village’s Huntington Beach shows contaminated water only 12 percent of the time and nearby Columbia Park beach is contaminated 13 percent of the time.

The east beach at Headlands in Mentor does okay with a 12-percent contamination rate, and the western end runs at about 15 percent.

If you want cleaner water than that, you will have to head to the islands: Beaches on both Kelleys and South Bass are typically contamination free.

Evidently, Islanders keep shit to themselves.

Tags: , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 5, 2022

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2022 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation