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Weekly Water Watch

Weekly Water Watch IconWeekly Water Watch  is IEC’s summer newsletter that provides weekly updates on Iowa E. coli  and microcystin beach advisories, important water quality news, and water-related events across the state.   

Weekly Water Watch started in 2018 to increase awareness of Iowa’s recreational lake water quality and make monitoring data more accessible and easy to understand.  

The June 11 Weekly Water Watch details 4 beach advisories for the week. Read the June 11 issue of Weekly Water Watch for complete details.

Learn more about beach monitoring.

Beaches are updated each Friday with advisories Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.

Blue Beach Icon No advisories
Brown Beach Icon E. coli advisory
Green Beach Icon Microcystin advisory
Yellow Beach Icon E. coli and microcystin advisories

Read Past Weekly Water Watch Issues


September 4, 2020 August 7, 2020 July 10, 2020 June 12, 2020
August 28, 2020 July 31, 2020  July 3, 2020 June 5, 2020
August 21, 2020 July 24, 2020  June 26, 2020 May 29, 2020
August 14, 2020 July 17, 2020  June 19, 2020 May 22, 2020

Notable Statistics from Summer 2020

  • Total number of E. coli advisories = 112 
  • Total number of microcystin advisories = 12 
  • George Wyth Beach experienced its first recorded advisory for microcystin since data collection began in 2006. 
  • Of 38 DNR-monitored beaches, 20 beaches recorded swim advisories in 2020. 18 beaches did not record an advisory. 
  • Backbone Beach was under advisory for E. coli for 14 weeks out of 16 weeks total in 2020. 
  • E. coli advisories were up 87% from 2019.
  • Lake MacBride and Prairie Rose Lake were inaccessible for the last three weeks of water quality monitoring due to damage from the derecho.
  • The summer of 2020 was very dry. Western Iowa was especially hard hit by drought. It was the driest July since 2013, and August was the third driest on record.