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Other Lake Water Health Issues Highlighted


Madison WI - June 11, 2008- The Department of Public Health for Madison and Dane County announced that all beaches are closed until further notice.

The heavy rains of this weekend caused the overflow from several points in the sewer system of the Madison Metropolitan Sewage District.  As a result, untreated wastewater has entered lakes Monona and Mendota in various locations. Therefore raw sewage may be present in the waters of these lakes. Sewage contains high levels of pathogenic microorganisms and contact with this water may cause illness.  Although we do not have any other specific reports of other similar problems, sewage release may have also occurred in other lakes rivers or streams.  Heavy rains always carry many contaminates into lakes so swimming is not advised on other lakes at the present time.  

Swimming in contaminated waters carries significant health risks.  Swallowing water while swimming is unavoidable and it exposes the swimmer to a high risk of contacting gastro-intestinal illnesses.  The same kind of risk exists for wading, playing or diving in these waters. Boaters can also be exposed to risk by breathing in droplets of spray.  Boating activities such as canoeing and kayaking are not advisable since they involve a much higher risk of immersion in the water.  

The Public Health Laboratory carried out tests at all Madison beaches (including the Memorial Union and Hoofers Pier) yesterday (6-10) and the results will be available by the end of the day today.  The laboratory will be conducting ongoing testing.

Updates on beach closings will be posted at



  • Jeff Golden, (608) 243-0302
  • Jon Schellpheffer, Madison Metro Sewage Dist., (608) 222-1201x266