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Ontario Beach Park opens for swimming



Rochester, New York – According to Monroe County Executive Adam Bello, despite struggles earlier in the summer to source lifeguards, Ontario Beach Park will be staffed every day through Labor Day, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

But this doesn’t mean that swimming will always be allowed during those hours.

There are several reasons why the beach may be temporarily close to swimming during the summer, according to Monroe County’s website:

• Bacteria, one of the more well-known reasons for the closure, has been associated with swimming-related illnesses. Officials use indicator bacteria such as fecal coliform, enterococcus, and E. coli, which are easy to test for and frequently appear alongside other, much more harmful viruses and bacteria.
• Stormwater runoff and other particular matter from the Genesee River may occasionally flow into the lake, affecting water quality.
• Local rainfall may wash contaminants to either the beach or nearby streams that affect the quality and safety of Ontario lake.
• Organic debris from a variety of sources, such as decaying plant matter, may cause closure due to the potential for bacterial growth.
• Water clarity is also causing to close the beach, as any matter blocking ultraviolet light in the lake allows for the growth of bacteria.

Swimming is prohibited when lifeguards are not on duty.

In order to help alleviate the lifeguard staffing shortage, Governor Kathy Hochul recently announced a pay raise for state-hired lifeguards, bumping the roughly $15 hourly wages up to about $20.

“Summer is officially back,” Bello stated in a press release. “We ask that everyone stay safe while swimming and come cool off on those hot summer days at the beach with the whole family.”

Among other qualifications, Lifeguards in Monroe County must be CPR certified before their first shift.