Back in the Swim of Things

Written by Communications, June 4, 2018

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
  • 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:

SAFE UNSAFE CLOSED
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 2018 summer months:

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

Peterborough County Beaches:

  • Back Dam Beach (902 Rock Rd., Warsaw, Township of Douro-Dummer)
  • 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)

 

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For further information, please contact:

Brittany Cadence

Communications Manager

705-743-1000, ext. 391