Health Department

Erie County Department of Health has a laboratory capable of analyzing Escherichia coli or E. coli levels in beach water.  These samples are collected and analyzed on Sundays and Mondays from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The Department currently monitors the following Erie County coastal beaches (current results are here):  

Presque Isle State Park

North East Township            

  • Beach 1
  • Freeport Beach
  • Barracks Beach


  • Beach 6


  • Beach 7 - Waterworks Beach
  • Beach 8 – Pettinato


  • Beach 9 – Pine Tree


  • Beach 10 – Budny


  • Beach 11



Chelsey Lab


Analysis Results

If the E. coli levels are less than 235 cfu (colony forming units per 100 ml sample), then the beach remains open. 

If the E. coli levels are between 235-1000 cfu, then a  SWIMMING ADVISORY  is issued.

SWIMMING ADVISORY means swimming is still permitted; but to reduce risk of illness, it is recommended that beach users take the following precautions: 

  • Avoid swallowing lake water; parents monitor your children.
  • Wash your hands before handling food.
  • Avoid swimming if you have a compromised immune system, an open cut or wound, if you are pregnant, or if you are experiencing illness.
  • Minimize water contact if lake levels are high, heavy rains have just ended or strong winds are blowing from the west.    

If the E. coli levels are at 1,000 cfu or more, then a  SWIMMING RESTRICTION is issued.

SWIMMING RESTRICTION means swimming is NOT permitted at this time until water quality testing confirms that E. coli levels are within acceptable limits.

Precautionary Advisories or Restrictions are issued at the discretion of Presque Isle State Park management. These would follow the same E. coli levels as stated above.

Management may issue these on days that samples are not collected and analyzed by the lab at the Erie County Department of Health. Some factors that could lead to the issuance of precautionary advisories or restrictions would be predictive models, weather conditions such as high winds or recent heavy rains, or research E. coli sample results that are analyzed by our partner, the Regional Science Consortium. To visit their website, go to

Please note that swimming advisories are posted at each beach and on two signboards on Presque Isle. 


Weather Buoy

The Regional Science Consortium is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the Lake Erie nearshore buoy.  This weather, water, wave buoy system measures parameters in real-time and posts the data to

Erie County Courthouse - 140 West Sixth Street, Erie, PA 16501 - (814) 451-6000 - TDD Phone: (814) 451-6237 - Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 4:30pm
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