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Swimming & Beach Safety

The Chautauqua County Health Department (CCHD) monitors permitted bathing beaches for water quality concerns including elevated indicator bacteria, specifically Escherichia coli (E. coli), and harmful algal blooms.  If CCHD identifies water quality concerns the beach will be closed until tests show the reason for the closure no longer exits.  Please note beach operators may need to close beaches for reasons other than water quality concerns, such as staffing issues or severe weather concerns.

Beach Closures Due to Water Quality Concerns

Beaches will be closed by CCHD when water sample results show indicator bacteria levels above the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) water-quality standards. High bacteria levels in beach water suggest a possible health risk, especially if the water is ingested or a swimmer has open wounds that allow pathogens to enter the body.

When CCHD issues a beach closure for water quality concerns beach operators are required to post signs at the beach to alert the public.  The New York State Department of Health maintains a map of Great Lakes beaches with current and historical E. coli results listed.

Beginning in 2015, Wright Park and Point Gratiot East beach status is determined using predictive models, field observations, and sampling results. CCHD continues testing these beaches for E. coli while using the models to make sure the models are making accurate predictions.

Beach Status

The chart below is updated with new results as results are available during the beach season. Beaches are sampled weekly or bi-weekly, depending on the likely changes in water quality for a specific beach.  A satisfactory listing does not guarantee that a beach will be open for swimming since beaches may close for reasons other than poor water quality, such as staffing problems, weather, etc.

Check the Chautauqua County Blue-green Algae page for press releases and updates.  The water quality status for permitted public beaches, based on the most recent E. coli counts, is listed below.

Table Updated: September 5, 2023

  SAMPLE DATE    BEACH WATER QUALITY COMMENTS

Lake Erie Beaches

The NYS Department of Health map lists water quality status and sample results.
Town of Hanover 8/28/2023 Satisfactory. Closed for 2023 season.  
Sunset Bay / Cabana Sam's 8/28/2023

Satisfactory. Closed for 2023 season.

 
Wright Park East

8/29/2023

Satisfactory. Closed for 2023 season.  
Point Gratiot East 8/29/2023

Satisfactory.  No swimming in 2023 due to lack of lifeguard staff.

 

Lake Erie State Park   Not open in summer 2023. Past Bacteria Results are available on the NYS Parks website.  

Chautauqua Lake Beaches

Localized blue green algal blooms have been reported in Chautauqua Lake in 2023, learn how to recognize blue-green algae and stay safe at Harmful Blue-Green Algae Blooms (ny.gov)

 
Long Point State Park

 

Bacteria Results and blue-green algae closure notifications are available on the NYS Parks website.  

 
Mayville Lakeside Park

 

Closed for 2023 season.  
Chautauqua Institution - Children's   Closed for 2023 season.  
Chautauqua Institution - College / Pier   Closed for 2023 season.  
Lakewood Village Beach   Harmful blue-green algal blooms have been identified in the area. Closed for 2023 season.  

Cassadaga Lakes Beaches

 
Cassadaga Beach   Closed for 2023 season.  
Lily Dale Beach   No swimming in 2023 due to lack of lifeguard staff.  

Additional Information and Quick Links

USEPA - Beaches

Sanitary Survey of Lake Erie Beaches in Chautauqua County

CDC - Swimmer's Itch FAQs

NYSDOH - Harmful Blue-green Algae Blooms

NYSDEC - NYHABS mapping system