Beach Testing Program started

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The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit will be starting weekly water sampling of the area’s public bathing beaches for this year. The results of the testing will appear on our website and social media starting on June 30, 2022 and be posted weekly until the end of August. (https://healthunit.org/health-information/recreational-water/weekly-beach-results/)

Beaches are sampled once a week and monitored for E. Coli. Research has shown that when people are swimming or in the water (bathing) at beaches where the water has a high E. coli level (above the standard of 200) there is a direct relationship with an increase in ear, eye, nose and throat infections in swimmers. Therefore when samples exceed 200, the beach is posted with a warning sign “unsafe for bathing” The bathing beach will remain posted until test results indicate that the water quality meets the bathing beach water standard. To help you better understand “Why Beaches are Posted”, check out the Health Unit website Beaches page.

Testing the water for bacteria is one factor used to determine water quality. The quality of surface water is changeable so the health unit advises bathers to consider other issues that may affect the quality and safety of the water, such as heavy rain within 24 hours and water fowl droppings in the water or on the beach as these may contribute to high bacteria levels. Beach goers should also be on the lookout for the presence of harmful algal blooms and signs of accidental spills that may pollute the water.

Change rooms and washrooms may not always be open to the public so come prepared for the beach by changing at home. Remember to bring hand sanitizer so that you can clean your hands frequently, especially before eating.

Information about recreational water safety and beach water testing results for each week are posted by Friday at 9am on our Weekly Beach Results page, @LGLHealthUnit on Facebook and Twitter or by calling 1-800-660-5853. Because of Canada Day, this week the results will be posted on Thursday June 30.

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