Albany, NY - May 6, 2014 - Swimming in lakes, rivers and at ocean beaches is a popular summer activity, but people should use common sense about safety if the location is not a regulated public swimming area.
Did you know?
If swimming at other than a regulated bathing beach, DEC has resources to help you make informed decisions about places to swim so that you can avoid potential hazards.
- Algae are naturally present in slow moving streams, lakes, marine waters and ponds in low numbers. Certain types can become abundant and form blooms under the right conditions. Some algae, such as blue-green algae, can produce toxins that can be harmful to people and animals. To learn what blue-green algae looks like and what to do if you see it, visit DEC's blue-green harmful algal blooms webpage.
- Facilities with permitted combined sewer overflow (CSO) discharges are required by law to post signs at all CSO outfalls to alert the public that the water released from CSOs may be contaminated with untreated sewage following rainfall or snowmelt events and may contain bacteria that can cause illness. Avoid contact with, or recreating in (swimming, boating and fishing), the waterbody during or following a rainfall or snowmelt event.
- The Sewage Pollution Right to Know law, enacted in 2013, requires that discharges of untreated and partially treated sewage discharges are reported by publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) and publicly owned sewer systems (POSSs) within two hours of discovery to DEC and within four hours of discovery to the public and adjoining municipalities. To view sewage discharge reports go here. This information will help you avoid contact with waterbodies that may contain bacteria that can cause illness.
Learn more about swimming in New York:
- DEC has posted a new webpage on swimming in waters of NYS.
- Many of the DEC owned campgrounds include regulated swimming beaches.
- The Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation offers bathing beaches and pools at many of its parks.
- Department of Health monitors regulated beaches; for information about regulated swimming beaches, contact your local health department.