BEACH Program

Lakes and Rivers Monitoring Information

Are Washington lakes and rivers safe to swim in? Who is checking to make sure?

The risks associated with swimming in natural waters include:

  • drowning.
  • infection.
  • illness from harmful algal blooms.
  • illness from sewage.

Learn how to spot a "poopy" beach and avoid getting sick on our advice page.  Learn about harmful algal blooms from the Washington State Toxic Algae program.

Washington State does not have a statewide program to monitor freshwater swimming beaches for public health. An EPA grant fully funds the BEACH Program.  One of the grant requirements is we spend the money on saltwater (marine) beaches.

If individual counties or cities have the resources, they may monitor the water quality of some lakes and rivers. They may test for fecal bacteria and/or harmful algae blooms.

Click on your county to find out who is monitoring your lake or river.

Whatcom County Skagit County Island County San Juan County Snohomish County Clallam County Jefferson County Kitsap County Grays Harbor County Mason County Thurston County Pierce County Pacific County Lewis County Wahkiakum County Cowlitz County Clark County Skamania County Okanogan County Chelan County Kittitas County Yakima County Klickitat County Douglas County Grant County Benton County Ferry County Stevens County Pend Oreille County Lincoln County Spokane County Adams County Whitman County Franklin County Walla Walla County Columbia County Garfield County Asotin County King County Image Map

Additional Lakes Information

The Algae Control Program at the Department of Ecology has a database at the Toxic Algae website to see if your lake has been monitored and view the latest results.

Ecology’s Lakes Program: 1989 - 1999 has historic lake data available.

Aquatic Plants Algae and Lakes provides information about plant identification, plant management, pesticide usage and more.

Aquatic Invasive Non-Native Plant Monitoring provides a searchable database of aquatic plants in lakes and other information about aquatic weed control research work.