Water Quality Testing Resumes at Local Beaches

Written by Comms Team, June 7, 2024

Beaches are Tested and Monitored for Bacteria and Harmful Algae

Beach water testing by Peterborough Public Health (PPH) has resumed just in time for the warm weather. Testing includes public beaches in Curve Lake and Hiawatha First Nations, and in the County and City of Peterborough. These beaches will be regularly tested to ensure that water quality conditions are safe for recreational use.

The routine surveillance program for all public beaches runs from early-June until the end of August. The following beaches are sampled daily, Monday to Friday:

  • Beavermead Park (2011 Ashburnham Drive, Peterborough)
  • Rogers Cove (131 Maria Street, Peterborough)

Most public beaches in the county are sampled at least once a week, including:

  • Buckhorn Beach (12 John Street, Buckhorn)
  • Crowe’s Line Beach (240 Crowe’s Line Road, Trent Lakes)
  • Curve Lake Henry’s Gumming (150 Chemong Street S, Curve Lake)
  • Curve Lake Lime Kiln Park (150 Whetung Street E, Curve Lake)
  • Douro North Park (251 Douro Second Line, Douro-Dummer)
  • Ennismore Waterfront Park (1053 Ennis Road, Ennismore)
  • Hiawatha Park (1 Lakeshore Road, Hiawatha)
  • Jones Beach(908 Jones Beach Road, Bridgenorth)
  • Lakefield Park (100 Hague Boulevard, Lakefield)
  • Norwood Beachat Mill Pond (12 Belmont Street, Norwood)
  • Sandy Beach(1239 Lakehurst Road, Buckhorn)
  • Selwyn BeachConservation Area (2251 Birch Island Road, Selwyn)
  • Squirrel Creek Conservation Area (2445 Wallace Point Road, South Monaghan)
  • Warsaw Caves Conservation Area (289 Caves Road, Warsaw)

The following public beaches are samples once a month from June to August:

  • Chandos Beach (2800 County Road/Hwy 620, North Kawartha)
  • Quarry Bay (1986 Northey’s Bay Road, Woodview)
  • Belmont Lake (376 Miles of Memories Road, Belmont)
  • Kasshabog Lake (431 Peninsula Road, Havelock)
  • White’s Beach (26 Clearview Drive, Trent Lakes)

Though PPH will always maintain its sampling schedule, the following factors may result in high levels of bacteria or other conditions that cause the beach to be unsafe for swimming between sampling periods:

  • Heavy rainfall
  • Large numbers of waterfowl
  • Harmful algae blooms
  • High winds or wave activity
  • Large numbers of swimmers

Water samples are submitted to the Public Health Laboratory for bacteriological analysis. Samples are 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. If levels of bacteria exceed recommended thresholds for recreational water use, the beach will be posted as unsafe and to avoid becoming ill, people should not use the beach for swimming. If a significant risk to human health is identified, such as a toxic spill or the identification of a harmful algae bloom, a beach may be closed to the public.

Our region is fortunate to have so many beautiful recreational waterfront areas. Our recent climate change and health vulnerability assessment indicates that our region will continue to experience warming temperatures and an increase in the number of very hot days. Most of the local beaches are free to access and a great way to beat the heat, so we all need to do what we can to protect the water quality. There are several things that you can do to help 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 pets

Residents can find the status of public beaches at any time by visiting https://www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca/your-health/beaches-and-pools/beach-testing-results/ or by calling 705-743-1000, ext. 232 weekdays.

A complete list and an interactive map of all the beaches that will be tested for the 2024 summer months, is available as well at https://www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca/your-health/beaches-and-pools/beach-testing/

For further information, please contact:

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