Dept of Health & Human Services (DHHS)

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Beach Water Quality

The plentiful swimming beaches in Walworth County are one of its biggest appeals. However, during the summer months, when the beaches are at their biggest use, dangerous levels of E. coli bacteria can develop in the waters. This may be due to natural occurring bacteria in warm water, run-off being washed into the water from roads or farms after rains, or contamination from waste of animals and fowl.

For this reason it is advised that swimming beaches be monitored for E. coli levels from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Private Beach Water Quality Services

Home owners’ associations, private residences, and private camps may submit beach water samples for analysis of E. coli levels to the Walworth County Public Health Laboratory between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Walworth County Board Approved Fees, effective January 1, 2014:

Recreational Water Sample: $30.00

Public Beach Survey and Water Testing Program

Public beaches may enroll in the Walworth County Beach Survey and Water Testing Program for monitoring of E. coli levels during the active swimming season.  The program involves staff visiting the beach on Monday mornings, taking a water sample, performing a beach survey to look for possible health hazards, and analyzing of the sample for E. coli most probable number results. The program also includes immediate repeat testing for E. coli counts registering above the beach closure level. 

E. coli Advisory Levels

Number of Colonies Per 100ml

Health Advisory




Warning: May Cause Illness



Contact Us

For more information or to enroll contact Walworth County Public Health at (262) 741-3140 or email


Wisconsin Beach Guide

Inland Beach Water Quality

Wisconsin DNR Beach Resources



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