June 20, 2017 – Testing well water regularly keeps you and your family safe

Peterborough Public Health and the Municipality of Trent Lakes is pleased to announce a free new courier service starting today that allows county residents to conveniently submit well water samples at the Trent Lakes Administration Office.  Water samples from there are picked up Tuesdays and Thursdays before 10 a.m. and brought to the Peterborough Public Health Lab at 99 Hospital Drive for testing.

“We are delighted to make it easier for county residents to pick up water sample testing kits and drop them off in Trent Lakes,” said Atul Jain, Manager of Environmental Health Programs at Peterborough Public Health. “Water quality changes over time, that’s why we recommend testing private wells three to four times a year to prevent health risks. We hope by making this testing service more accessible that residents will test their well water more regularly.”

Water Sample Kits are free and available at the Municipality of Trent Lakes administrative office located at 760 Peterborough County Road 36 in the upper floor main entrance lobby. Samples are time sensitive, so residents are encouraged to read the instructions included with each kit carefully. Completed samples should be placed in the water sample fridge located beside the Building & Planning reception desk.

Water samples can also be dropped off at Peterborough Public Health between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon on Fridays. Residents can also continue to drop off samples directly to the lab itself on 99 Hospital Drive (between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.), and in Havelock at the Havelock-Belmont-Methuen Township Office, located on 1 Ottawa St. from Monday through Thursday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

The well water testing service is available at no charge to all residents and cottagers in Trent Lakes through a program with Peterborough Public Health.

Well water samples are tested for two types of bacterial contamination: total coliforms and E. coli. The presence of E. coli indicates the water has been contaminated with fecal material, which can contain disease-causing microbes. These organisms can cause severe gastrointestinal illness. Anyone can become ill if they consume contaminated water, but the young, elderly, and immuno-compromised are at a higher risk.

Residents will receive water quality results by mail or you can call Public Health Ontario’s Interactive Voice Response at 1-877-723-3426. If you have questions about water quality test results, you can call the Peterborough Public Health’s Safe Water Program at 705-743-1000, ext. 232, for a free consultation.

To find out how to test for contaminants other than total coliforms and E. coli, contact Peterborough Public Health at 705-743-1000, ext. 232 or visit www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca, click on “My Home & Environment”, then “My Home”, then “Water”.


For further information, please contact:
Brittany Cadence
Communications Manager
705-743-1000, ext. 391


June 19, 2017 – To view the meeting summary for the June 14 Board of Health Meeting click image below:

170614 Board of Health Meeting Summary – June

BOH meeting summary

June 13 – Good Food is Fun and Healthy at Queen Elizabeth Public School

It’s no secret that kids love to play with food! This morning, students at the Queen Elizabeth Public School Breakfast Program made and ate Canada flags for breakfast, using fresh produce and local cheese.  Students sang “Happy Birthday Dear Canada!”, coloured flags, and signed a giant birthday card for Canada.

“Today’s event is about celebrating Canada, and the healthy Canadian food that feeds students at our breakfast program each school day,” said Julie Hoit, Principal at Queen Elizabeth Public School. “Vegetables, fruit, and other nutritious foods served at our student nutrition program help students come to class ready to learn. School food boxes like today’s, are one way that healthy food gets to our students.”

Queen Elizabeth wasn’t the only school celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday.  Student nutrition programs at 47 schools across the city and county received school food boxes this week filled with fresh red and white ingredients.

“This is the seventeenth time this year that schools have received food boxes for breakfast and snack programs,” said Angela Fuchs, Community Development Coordinator with Food for Kids Peterborough. “Contributions from grants, local businesses, and the Ministry of Children and Youth Services help make these food boxes possible.  This particular festive box was funded by the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th birthday.”

Making food fun is important to Nancy Calder, the coordinator at the Queen Elizabeth Student Nutrition Program. “I love seeing kids try healthy foods they have never tried before,” said Calder. “I find that involving children in preparing food at breakfast and snack programs is a great way to help them gain independence and life skills. Kids also seem to be more willing to try new vegetables and fruit when they help prepare them!”

This school food box initiative is made possible by generous community donations to Food for Kids, including contributions from the United Way, Kawartha Credit Union, the Ministry of Child and Youth Services, and the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, a collaboration between the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough, Community Foundations of Canada, the government of Canada, and extraordinary leaders from coast to coast to coast.


If you are interested in volunteering at a breakfast program near you, or making a donation, visit www.FoodforKidsPtbo.ca or call 705-743-1000, ext. 233.


For further information, please contact:
Lauren Kennedy, RD
Public Health Nutritionist
705-743-1000, ext. 233



June 13 – Peterborough Public Health is advising residents to avoid mosquito bites this season and reduce breeding grounds in order to prevent the spread of West Nile virus.

“With the damp spring so far, we could see more mosquitoes this year so it’s even more important to protect yourself by cleaning up and covering up,” says Wanda Tonus, Public Health Inspector.  “Meanwhile we continue to look for evidence of West Nile virus throughout our area to monitor its spread in Ontario.”

Peterborough Public Health staff trap mosquitoes and test larvae from standing water pools throughout the City and County of Peterborough.  In 2016 staff collected more than 5,000 local mosquitoes and none tested positive for West Nile virus.  In 2016, Public Health Ontario reports that across the province there were 211 positive mosquito pools and 49 confirmed human cases of West Nile virus.

How do you protect yourself?

Clean Up:

  • Continually empty standing water that mosquitoes need to lay their eggs. This includes flower pots, wheel barrows, pool covers, old tires and garbage/recycling cans.
  • Fill in low depressions in your lawn.
  • Change water in bird baths at least once a week.
  • Clean out dense bushes and shrubs where mosquitoes can rest.
  • Turn over compost pile on a regular basis.
  • Ensure window and door screens fit tightly and do not have holes.

Cover Up:

  • Use federally-registered personal insect repellant on exposed skin, such as products containing DEET.
  • When appropriate weather, wear protective clothing outside. This includes long sleeved shirts, jackets, long pants, hats, socks – choose to wear light coloured clothing as mosquitoes tend to be attracted to darker colours.

What are the symptoms of West Nile virus?

Approximately 80% of those infected with West Nile virus do not show any symptoms.  Of the 20% that do show symptoms, most experience mild illness with symptoms such as:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Fatigue
  • Skin rash
  • Occasionally, vomiting and nausea

Less than 1% of those infected with West Nile virus experience severe illness involving the central nervous system.  In its most serious state, West Nile virus infection can cause an inflammation in the brain, otherwise known as encephalitis.

For more information on mosquitoes and West Nile virus please contact the Vector Borne Disease Program at Peterborough Public Health at 705-743-1000, ext. 240.


For further information, please contact:
Brittany Cadence
Communications Manager
705-743-1000, ext. 391

Audio clip:

Well the season is upon us when Peterborough Public Health starts monitoring for evidence of West Nile virus in local mosquitoes.  Residents can help the situation by making sure to dump any standing water in flower pots, wheel barrows, children’s toys, or old tires on their property to help reduce mosquito populations.  It’s been a wet spring, so we strongly recommend that everyone take precautions by covering up skin where you can and using insect repellent with DEET.

June 12, 2017 – Today Peterborough Public Health is issuing the first Heat Warning of the season.  Temperatures are expected to reach near 31 degrees Monday with an overnight low near 20 degrees Monday night.  This current heatwave has been spreading across southern Ontario for more than two days and is expected to affect the Peterborough area today only.  Temperatures are expected to fall below heat alert criteria on Tuesday.

Heat Warning 2 DaysPeople suffer heat-related illnesses when their body temperature quickly rises and they are unable to cool themselves. The risk of heat-related illness increases with the amount of time spent in the heat, the temperature and an individual’s sensitivity to heat. If you feel faint, find it hard to breathe, or feel confused and disoriented because of the heat, call your doctor. In an emergency, call 911.

Please remember to call or visit family, friends and neighbours, especially seniors who live on their own, to make sure they are alright.

Drink plenty of water, even if you don’t feel thirsty. This decreases your risk of dehydration. Thirst is not a good indicator of dehydration.

Peterborough Public Health issues warnings for high heat or humidity that is expected to last two or more days.  Peterborough Public Health follows a provincial Harmonized Heat Warning and Information System for dealing with heat events affecting Curve Lake and Hiawatha First Nations, and the City and County of Peterborough.

Peterborough Public Health staff will monitor this system to determine when the Medical Officer of Health should declare a heat warning or extended heat warning.  This coordinated provincial system provides a consistent approach for processing and issuing heat warnings in Ontario.  It also provides evidence-based heat warning triggers which are founded on the association between temperature, humidex and mortality.

Extreme heat events are a potentially significant health risk and can have a severe impact on the health of vulnerable populations including infants, the elderly, shut-ins, persons with chronic diseases, the morbidly obese and the marginally housed.  Heat-related illnesses such as dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke are preventable.

Extreme heat is often accompanied by poor air quality.  Peterborough Public Health encourages you to monitor the Air Quality Health Index found as a link on the Ministry of the Environment & Climate Change’s website www.airqualityontario.com and plan outdoor activities accordingly.




For further information, please contact:

Wanda Tonus
Public Health Inspector
705-743-1000, ext. 285

June 9, 2017 – Location: North Kawartha Community Centre, Apsley

Media and the community are advised that the next Board of Health meeting will take place on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. at the North Kawartha Community Centre Banquet Hall, 340 McFadden Road, in Apsley, ON.

To download the agenda and the online board package, please visit:

This meeting is open to the community and members of the media.


For further information, please contact:
Brittany Cadence
Communications Manager
705-743-1000, ext. 391

June 8, 2017 –  Residents Advised to Take Precautions and Be Tick Smart

The first Lyme disease-positive tick of the season has been identified by Peterborough Public Health.

“The public health lab confirmed this week that a tick submitted recently by a local resident tested positive for Lyme disease,” said Atul Jain, Manager of Environmental Health programs.  “Ticks can be as small as a sesame seed and their bites are usually painless, so this serves as a good reminder to be on the lookout for ticks and to bring in any ticks you find on people to Peterborough Public Health for identification.”

Jain noted that the precise origin of the infected tick is not known, but it is believed to have come from either southern Peterborough County or northern Northumberland County.  Peterborough Public Health is closely monitoring for evidence of infected ticks in our area, and encourages residents to submit ticks.  When bringing a tick to Peterborough Public Health, please be aware that only ticks found on humans will be submitted for identification and testing.  Any ticks found on pets or other animals should be taken to a veterinarian.

What to do if you find a tick:

If you do locate a tick on your body, use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to your skin as possible and pull the tick straight out.  Save the tick in an empty screw-top bottle or zipper-closed bag and take it to Peterborough Public Health located at 185 King St., Peterborough. The tick will then be sent away to a public health laboratory for identification. A tick can be submitted to Peterborough Public Health Monday to Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

When submitting a tick you will need to provide the following information:

  • Full name (including middle initial) and date of birth of the person to whom the tick was attached;
  • Location on the body where the tick was found;
  • Approximate length of time the tick was attached;
  • Where the tick was acquired, along with recent travel history;
  • Record of any symptoms; and
  • Your healthcare provider’s name and city of practice.

Lyme disease is gaining the attention of health officials because cases in Ontario are increasing.  In 2016, residents submitted 114 ticks to Peterborough Public Health, and of the three that tested positive for Lyme disease, one of those came from the local area.  So far in 2017, 68 ticks have been submitted to Peterborough Public Health for examination, including the one that recently tested positive for Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is a potentially serious illness and growing health risk across Ontario.  It is caused by the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. While not all blacklegged ticks carry Lyme disease, populations of infected blacklegged ticks are spreading throughout Ontario.  Some areas close to the areas served by Peterborough Public Health, are already considered endemic with infected blacklegged ticks.

Preventing tick bites:

The best way to prevent Lyme disease is to avoid getting bitten by ticks in areas where they live, such as tall grasses and wooded habitats.  Before heading out, wear long, light-coloured clothing and tuck pant legs into socks. Spray an insect repellent containing DEET on your clothes. Check for ticks when you return from the outdoors, and it’s a good idea to shower after to wash off any ticks that may be crawling on your body.

The signs of Lyme disease can be categorized in three stages. However, the first sign is usually a circular rash in the shape of a bull’s eye. Other additional symptoms include fever, chills, headache, muscle and joint pain, fatigue and swollen lymph nodes. For more details on precautions and symptoms of Lyme disease, please visit www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca click on “My Home & Environment” and go to “Lyme disease.”

For more information on tick submission or general inquiries about ticks please contact the Vector Borne Disease Program at Peterborough Public Health at 705-743-1000, ext. 240.



For further information, please contact:

Brittany Cadence
Communications Manager
705-743-1000, ext. 391

June 5, 2017 – Peterborough Public Health Kicks off Beach Water Quality Testing Today

Follow @Ptbohealth on Twitter for Regular Updates

With the official summer countdown underway, Public Health Inspectors from Peterborough Public Health (PPH) started beach sampling for this year’s swimming season today.  Public beaches in the city and county and Hiawatha and Curve Lake First Nations will be regularly tested to ensure water quality conditions are safe for recreational use.

Local residents can find the most recent status of public beaches at any time by visiting www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca or by calling PPH at 705-743-1000, ext. 232 during office hours.  Residents are also encouraged to follow Peterborough Public Health on Twitter @Ptbohealth for beach updates throughout the summer.

The routine inspection program for all public beaches runs from June until August. The city beaches at Rogers Cove and Beavermead are sampled by Public Health Inspectors every business day, and public beaches in the county are sampled at least once a week, except for Chandos Beach, Quarry Bay Beach, White’s Beach, Belmont Lake Beach and Kasshabog Lake Beach which are sampled at least once in June, July and August.

Though PPH will always maintain its inspection schedule, the following may result in unsafe levels of bacteria between sampling periods:

  • Heavy rainfall High winds or wave activity
  • Large numbers of water fowl                                                  l
  • large numbers of swimmers

Some things that you are able to do to ensure the water quality stays safe:

  • Do not feed waterfowl
  • Do not let children swim in soiled diapers
  • Pick up your garbage
  • Clean up after your dog

Water samples will be submitted to the Peterborough Public Health Ontario Laboratory for bacteriological analysis.  The water samples are going to be tested for E. coli bacteria, an indicator of fecal contamination in the water. It takes approximately 24 hours for PPH to receive and analyze the water quality results from the lab.

How to Interpret Water Quality Results:

When the results return with E. coli levels less than 100 E. coli cfu/100mL of water, the public beach is considered “safe”. When E. coli levels exceed 100 E. coli cfu/100mL of water, the public beach will be posted as “unsafe”.


This means the water is unsafe for recreational use, including swimming.  When this happens, PPH will post signs around the beach area to inform the public not to come into contact with the water as it is a potential threat to human health.

When a significant risk to human health is identified, a beach will be posted as “closed”. Beach closures are rare, and occur when there are signs of hazardous or infectious material in the water, a toxic spill, or when there is a blue-green algae bloom.

In these situations, swimming is not permitted and beach access is restricted or denied.

The following beaches will be tested for the 2017 summer months:

City of Peterborough Beaches:
• Beavermead Park (2011 Ashburnham Drive)               • Roger’s Cove (131 Maria Street)

Peterborough County Beaches:

  • Belmont Lake Beach (Miles of Memories Rd., Belmont, Township of Havelock-Belmont-Methuen)
  • Buckhorn Beach (John St., Buckhorn, Township of Trent Lakes)
  • Chandos Beach (Hwy 620, Township of North Kawartha)
  • Crowe’s Line Beach (Crowe’s Line Rd., Township of Trent Lakes)
  • Curve Lake Lance Wood Park (Whetung St. E., Curve Lake First Nation)
  • Curve Lake Henry’s Gumming (Chemong St. S., Curve Lake First Nation)
  • Douro Beach (205 Douro Second Line, Township of Douro-Dummer)
  • Ennismore Waterfront Park (1053 Ennis Rd., Ennismore, Township of Selwyn)
  • Hiawatha Beach (1 Lakeshore Rd., Hiawatha First Nation)
  • Jones Beach ( 908 Jones Beach Rd., Bridgenorth, Selwyn Township)
  • Kasshabog Lake Beach (431 Peninsula Rd., Township of Havelock-Belmont-Methuen)
  • Lakefield Beach (100 Hague Boulevard,  Lakefield, Selwyn Township)
  • Norwood (12 Belmont St., Norwood, Township of Asphodel-Norwood)
  • Quarry Bay (1986 Northey’s Bay Rd.,  Woodview, Township of North Kawartha)
  • Sandy Beach (Lakehurst Rd., Township of Trent Lakes)
  • Selwyn Conservation Area (2251 Birch Island Rd., Selwyn Township)
  • Squirrel Creek Conservation Area (2445 Wallace Point Rd., Fraserville, Township of Otonabee-South Monaghan)
  • Warsaw Caves Conservation Area (289 Caves Rd., Warsaw, Township of Douro-Dummer)
  • White’s Beach (Clearview Dr., Township of Trent Lakes)



For further information, please contact:

Brittany Cadence

Communications Manager

705-743-1000, ext. 391