Public swimming beaches

Each summer, Hennepin County Public Health samples and analyzes the water at 31 public swimming beaches to make sure it is safe for swimming.

The county has the authority to close contaminated beaches. Check here for regular updates. Additional public swimming beaches in the county (not listed here) are similarly monitored by their respective cities or regional park authorities.

If a beach is listed as closed, you may contact the listed city for more information.

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Beaches monitored by Hennepin County

Water quality sampling for Hennepin County and Three Rivers Park District beaches has ended for the 2014 season. After 9/1/2014 please use the beach contact information to inquire if the beaches are open or closed.

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Beach water sampling

Nearly all water-borne illnesses are caused by organisms in untreated waste, from humans and other animals, introduced to the water directly or via rainstorm runoff. To measure the risk of contracting gastrointestinal illnesses from recreational exposure to beach water, samples are collected and analyzed for Escherichia coli bacteria, a primary indicator organism.

Beach water sampling results

When E. coli bacteria levels exceed guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Hennepin County Public Health recommends beach closure until subsequent sample results show a level within the acceptable range.

Printable map of beaches sampled by Hennepin County (PDF)

Other local agencies that sample beach water in Hennepin County:

Tips for staying healthy at the beach

Bacteria and viruses in the water can cause some ear and eye infections, stomachaches, diarrhea, and flu-like symptoms.

The Centers for Disease Control has the following recommendations for staying healthy while enjoying the beach:

  • Wait 24 hours to swim after a heavy rainfall.
  • Shower after being at the beach.
  • Don't mouth or swallow water.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before eating and after using the bathroom.
  • Don't swim if you're sick, or have a weakened immune system.
  • Put tight-fitting rubber or plastic pants on children who are wearing diapers and those who are not toilet-trained.
  • Take your children for frequent bathroom breaks.
  • Don't attract waterfowl to the beach by feeding ducks, geese, gulls, etc.
  • Pick up your trash.
  • If you boat, properly dispose of waste.

For more information, or to report water-related illnesses, please contact Hennepin County public health at 612-543-5200.

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