The "Social Circle" is a group effort between readers, social networkers and the OnMilwaukee.com editors. Every Monday, we ask a question via Facebook and Twitter and then post the responses from our Facebook "likers" and Twitter followers in this column. Well-known Milwaukee movers and shakers will contribute, too.
This week, OnMilwaukee.com asked Social Circle members if they swim in Lake Michigan in Milwaukee and the responses were, once again, all over the map. What about you? Would you take a dip in the lake?
Below is a sampling of responses and to read the entire thread go here.
Donna Becker: "The last time I did I got salmonella poisoning and spent six days in the hospital. True story."
John Cee: "Hell, no! Friend of mine got a rash from that on Bradford Beach."
Celeste Contreras: "Always and forever."
Justin Farrell: "Of course! Life is too short to fear bootycrickets."
Abigail Fowler: "Yes, based on DNR water quality postings."
Jeremy Frenz: "Only after a few margaritas from the Tiki Hut!"
Kari George: "I prefer Lake Superior warm shallow shore beaches. As for Lake Michigan, I skip the city beaches but will swim at Harrington, Kohler Andre and Whitefish Bay Dunes State Park beaches. I used to love the city beaches but no longer trust the safety of the water quality."
Kat Froelich: "Didn't Bradford Beach test positive for e-coli last year?"
Andy Guidinger: "I like not having extra fingers."
Tracy Holmes: "Yes. Have since I was too young to remember and I always will. Never have gotten sick. It's much safer now than it used to be in the early ‘80s, too. Swim on!"
Mike Kasabuske: "I work at the sewage plants. And let me tell you. The stuff people in Milwaukee flush down the toilet is disgusting. But that is what Jones Island is for. All of your "stuff" goes through a long process and in the end is not potable water, but safe enough to swim in."
Karen Kiffel: "Not really because of the sewage being dumped and because it is freezing cold."
Kent Knapp: "I try, but my naughty bits wind up in my chest. I'm not afraid of anything in the water. I grew up swimming in the Milwaukee River and I ain't dead yet!"
Tracy Korpela: "Nooooooooo. Bad news."
Gretchen Mead: "I swim in it every chance I get. I love Lake Michigan so much. When the spirit catches me I am uncontrollably compelled to submerse myself. Not doing so, is like not appreciating fall colors, or spring blooms. Or, like never venturing outside when the weather is glorious, or never lying down in a grassy field. I do understand the risks and feel that we all need to rise up to stop the contamination of her, somehow, some way. The beach was once a community gathering space, an air conditioner and a place of reflection for the Milwaukee community. I want that back."
Brian Rose: "No. Because of the turd slicks."
Renee Scherck-Meyer: "I will be – I am training for Big Shoulders Chicago, a 5K, open-water swim."
Janet Schiff: "I do swim in Lake Michigan but only north of the city due to a fear of sewage."
Nelson Sederstrom: "Of course. I've swam many times a year and I'm still here to talk about it!"
Jen Skladanek: "If it's warm enough and the warnings are low, then sure! And I have done the Polar Bear twice."
Tracy Sparrow: "No, no, no! I feel like it's like swimming in a toilet."
Anna Stone: "It gave me a fungus rash."
Tim Twaddle: "No, because it looks icky."
Stephanie Wiedenhoeft: "No. We may wade, but nothing above the knees and definitely not the head! Chemical run-off, algae blooms hosting bacterial growth, sewer overflows. Garbage."
Troy Withington: "Surf."
Patty Zastrow-Janowski: "I learned how to swim in that lake and everything you've heard about freezing cold water and dirty, smelly water is true."
Caitlín Zhenotdel: "Most things certain local news outlets 'report' on sewage in Lake Michigan is simply a lie. When the lake reaches unsafe levels it has little or nothing to do with the MMSD. I swim in the lake regularly. Going 'north' of the city to swim does nothing – it's just more pointless hiding from the city."