On Wednesday, 5/24/23, Public Health Madison & Dane County closed Spring Harbor beach (1918 Norman Way, Madison) for swimming due to a large blue-green algae bloom in the water. 

Blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, is harmful to people and pets. Consider the precautions described in this link and this link when visiting local beaches.  You can learn more about how water quality is monitored in and around Madison, what to look for before swimming, and sign up for beach closure alerts here

More frequent and heavier rainfall can exacerbate the flow of contaminants into the lakes, affecting the presence of blue green algae blooms.  Stormwater management is a critical responsibility of local government. As your Alder, one of my goals is to advocate for the City of Madison to increase its reliance on stormwater management practices that improve the quality of local lakes and bodies of water as well as our drinking water, and protect and ensure the health of our lake and riparian ecosystems.

Residents must play their part, as well. Consider the precautions described in this link, and please abide by the following guidance:

  • Minimize the use of lawn fertilizers
  • Don't use fertilizers that contain phosphate
  • Perform routine maintenance on your septic system
  • Prevent leaves and grass clippings from washing into storm drains
  • Plant native plants along the shoreline to help keep the water clean

You can report the presence of blue-green algae blooms at (608) 243-0357 or e-mail lab@publichealthmdc.com.