February 18,

Beach Testing

Beach Testing

Peterborough Public Health (PCCHU) maintains a routine surveillance program for public beaches during summer months to ensure that the water quality is safe for swimming.  The PCCHU surveillance program begins in June and continues until the end of August each year.

The 2 public beaches in the City of Peterborough are sampled by PCCHU Public Health Inspectors at least once each business day.  Public beaches in Peterborough County are sampled at least once every week except for Chandos Beach and Quarry Bay Beach which are sampled at least once in June, July and August.   All samples are submitted to the Peterborough Public Health Laboratory for bacteriological analysis.  The water samples are tested for Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria, an indicator of fecal contamination in the water. It takes approximately 24 hours for the health unit to receive and analyze the water quality results from the lab.

When is a Beach “Posted”?

A public beach is “posted” when the level of E. coli in the water exceeds 100 E. coli cfu/100mL of water.  When the level of E. coli exceeds 100 cfu/100mL water, the water is unsafe for recreational use, including human bathing (swimming).  When a beach is posted, signage will be placed around the beach area to inform the public of the elevated bacterial counts and the potential threat to human health.  A posted beach is re-sampled within one business day and the posting is removed when E. coli returns to acceptable levels.

When is a Beach “Closed”?

A beach is “closed” when a significant risk to human health and safety has been identified, such as signs of hazardous or infectious material in the water or when there is a blue-green algae bloom.  Swimming in the water is NOT permitted when a beach is closed and public access to the beach will be restricted or eliminated.  The beach is re-opened when the risk to human health and safety has been eliminated

Where are the Public Beaches in Peterborough?

The following beaches are part of PCCHU’s routine surveillance program:

  • City of Peterborough Beaches:
    • Roger’s Cove (131 Maria St, Peterborough)
    • Beavermead (2011 Ashburnham Drive, Peterborough)
  • Peterborough County  Beaches:
    • Buckhorn (John Street, Buckhorn)
    • Chandos Beach ( Hwy 620, North Kawartha)
    • Curve Lake Lance Wood Park (Chemong St S, Curve Lake)
    • Curve Lake Henrys Gumming  (Whetung St E, Curve Lake)
    • Douro (205 Douro Second Line, Douro-Dummer)
    • Ennismore (1053 Ennis Road, Ennismore)
    • Jones Beach ( 908 Jones Beach Road, Bridgenorth)
    • Hiawatha  (1 Lakeshore Rd, Hiawatha)
    • Lakefield (100 Hague Boulevard,  Lakefield)
    • Norwood (12 Belmont St, Norwood)
    • Quarry Bay (1986 Northey’s Bay Rd,  Woodview)
    • Sandy Beach (1239 Lakehurst Road, Municipality of Trent Lakes)
    • Selwyn (2251 Birch Island Road, Selwyn)
    • Squirrel Creek Conservation Area ( 2445 Wallace Point Rd, South Monaghan)
    • Warsaw Caves (289 Caves Rd, Warsaw)
    • White’s Beach (Clearview Drive, Galway)

How can you help protect the water quality?

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

Between sampling periods, the beach water may have unsafe levels of bacteria due to:

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


For more information and the most recent sampling results, please call 705-743-1000 or see beach testing results.

Last modified on Jun 24, 2015

  • Beach Sampling Test