Once again, Ohio ranks poorly in an annual survey of beach water quality.
Ohio, with its 62 public beaches along Lake Erie, is ranked 29th among 30 states listed in Testing the Waters: A Guide to Water Quality at Vacation Beaches, an annual report from the Natural Resources Defense Council.
According to the report, 22 percent of all water samples taken off public beaches in 2011 exceeded health standards for E. coli, a bacteria that can cause illness and even death. That’s a slight increase from 2010, during which 21 percent of the samples exceeded health limits.
The only other state that ranked worse for water quality was Louisiana, where 29 p ercent of samples exceeded bacteria limits. Bacteria naturally occur in water, but high levels can make people sick.
Ohio beaches where at least 50 percent of the samples contained high concentrations of bacteria were Edson Creek in Erie County, Lakeview Beach in Lorain County and Villa Angela State Park and Edgecliff Beach in Cuyahoga County.