Local Beach Summer Day

Beach Testing

Last updated: June 23, 2023

Be aware that the Smoke-Free Ontario Act and municipal smoking by-laws restrict smoking and vaping at area beaches, parks, playgrounds, and sports fields. Any person who sees people smoking, vaping, or using cannabis at beaches and within park boundaries may report a violation by phoning the PPH Tobacco Enforcement Officers at 705-743-1000 or reporting the offence online at www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca/sfoa.

For current COVID-19 guidance, please use the COVID-19 and Respiratory Virus Risk Index.

Peterborough Public Health maintains a routine surveillance program for public beaches during summer months to ensure that the water quality is safe for swimming. Public Health 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 PPH 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, Quarry Bay Beach, White’s Beach, Belmont Lake Beach and Kasshabog Lake 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 “Unsafe”?

A public beach is “unsafe” when the level of E. coli in the water exceeds 200 cfu/100mL of water. When the level of E. coli exceeds 200 cfu/100mL water, the water is unsafe for recreational use, including human bathing (swimming). When a beach is unsafe, signage will be placed around the beach area to inform the public of the elevated bacterial counts and the potential threat to human health. An unsafe beach is re-sampled within one business day and the signage 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.

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

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

Where are the Public Beaches in Peterborough?

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

  • City of Peterborough Beaches:
    • Beavermead Park (2011 Ashburnham Drive, Peterborough)
    • Rogers Cove (131 Maria Street, Peterborough)
  • Peterborough County Beaches:
    • Belmont Lake (376 Miles of Memories Road, Belmont)
    • Buckhorn Beach (12 John Street, Buckhorn)
    • Chandos Beach (2800 County Road/Hwy 620, North Kawartha)
    • 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)
    • Kasshabog Lake (431 Peninsula Road, Havelock)
    • Lakefield Park (100 Hague Boulevard, Lakefield)
    • Norwood Beach at Mill Pond (12 Belmont Street, Norwood)
    • Quarry Bay (1986 Northey’s Bay Road, Woodview)
    • Sandy Beach (1239 Lakehurst Road, Buckhorn)
    • Selwyn Beach Conservation Area (2251 Birch Island Road, Selwyn)
    • Squirrel Creek Conservation Area (2445 Wallace Point Road, South Monaghan)
    • Warsaw Caves Conservation Area (289 Caves Road, Warsaw)
    • White’s Beach (26 Clearview Drive, Trent Lakes)

How can you help protect the water quality?

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

For more information and the most recent sampling results, please call 705-743-1000 or see Beach Testing Results.