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How do you know if it's safe to swim in Lake Erie?

The weather is finally nice enough to take a trip to the beach. But how do you know the water is actually safe?

CLEVELAND — It's summer in Cleveland.

Thousands will be heading to the Lake Erie beaches to cool off. But what dangers are lurking in these waters? 

OK, let's hold off on the drama. These waters are tested regularly by the Cuyahoga County Board of Health and Cleveland Metroparks post the results both on the web and with a color coded flag system. 

At Euclid Beach, the yellow flags are flying, meaning water quality is projected poor, but the beach remains open. It's always a good idea to check the website for water quality, and keep away after a heavy rain.

"24-48 hours after a heavy rainfall, stay out of the water, especially if you have a compromised immune system," advises Tom Fink of the Cuyahoga County Board of Health. 

Combined sewer overflows release raw sewage into the lake, but Tuesday at Edgewater Beach, it's "green flags up" so everyone can enjoy a refreshing dip in the lake. 

But don't be fooled by the beauty. Being aware of what could happen and taking warnings seriously is a great way to prevent bad things from happening. 

Take rip currents for instance. If rip current warnings are there, stay out of the water. 

It's not just bacteria levels and rip currents. On summer days, the sun can get you too. Don't forget the sunscreen!

"You need to protect your skin and you need to protect yourself and your body. Sunscreen is very important on days like today when the UV index is very high," Fink adds.

The best way to protect yourself from dangers at the beach or anywhere is by using common sense. Then you can head out this holiday weekend and enjoy yourself, ready to deal with whatever comes your way. 

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