UW Oshkosh has been a leader in the Wisconsin’s Great Lakes beach monitoring program since 2003. These monitoring efforts have now expanded to several inland counties as well. Now housed at the Environmental Research and Innovation Center (ERIC), the program monitors approximately 120 beaches along Lake Michigan and Lake Superior covering nearly 600 miles of total coastline. Every summer, ERIC places student interns at four related state-certified labs to assist in monitoring these beaches. These internships provide great hands-on laboratory and field experience for the workforce of tomorrow, while offering an efficient and capable workforce today. ERIC is also lending its recreational water research expertise to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by conducting sanitary surveys at over 100 Great Lakes beaches to evaluate possible sources of fecal pollution. The ERIC staff has worked on over 60 beach redesign projects at locations throughout the Great Lakes and has researched rapid method development, sand effects on water quality, avian influences, stormwater contributions, molecular source tracking, and impacts of algae on beach water quality, to name a few. With two labs operating rapid molecular testing (qPCR) equipment, the ERIC provides the fastest possible detection and notification of hazardous levels of bacteria in recreational water.
In addition to surface water and recreational water testing, we provide well water testing and bacteriological and chemical analysis for all types of water systems. We offer town-based testing programs, individually designed to assist municipalities with resident water testing requirements. Our staff is available to provide knowledge on a number of well water questions regarding safety of the water, well maintenance, and other well-related issues.
The ERIC team operates water testing labs in Oshkosh, Eagle River, Sturgeon Bay, and Manitowoc.
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