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Beach Water Quality

June 17, 2016

Beach Water Quality

The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit is starting weekly water sampling of the area’s public bathing beaches for this year. The beaches will be monitored weekly throughout the summer season until September 2, 2016.

This year the following public swimming areas will be monitored:

In Lanark County: Almonte Beach, Dalhousie Lake, Centennial Beach, Riverside Beach, Lanark Beach, Pakenham Beach, Rideau Ferry Yacht Club, Robertson Lake Beach, Smiths Falls Jr. and Sr.

In Leeds and Grenville: Sand Bay Charleston Lake County Park, St. Lawrence Park, Lyn Valley Conservation Area, South Crosby Beach, Portland Campbell Street Beach, Foley Mountain Beach, Joel Stone Beach, Kendrick’s Park, Lower Beverley Township Park, Bellamy Park, Kelly’s Beach, Merrickville, Westport Sand Lake

Every week a total of five water samples will be collected from each beach. The results will then be analyzed for the presence of E. coli (Escherichia coli) bacteria. If the results exceed the bathing water standard of 100 E. coli, the beach will be posted with an “WARNING Unsafe for Bathing” sign indicating that the level of bacteria in the water may pose a risk to your health if you choose to swim. This information will appear on our website and in radio reports. Updates will be posted Friday mornings by 9:00am starting today.

Research has shown that when people are swimming at beaches where the water has a high E. coli level, there is a direct relationship with an increase in ear, eye, nose and throat infections in swimmers. The bathing beach will remain posted until test results indicate that the water quality meets the bathing beach water standard. To help you better understand “Why Beaches are Posted”, visit our Beaches webpage.

Bacterial water quality is one parameter used to determine water quality. Other variables, which are assessed and evaluated, are the presence of a blue-green algae bloom, accidental spills that may pollute the water and any safety issue that could affect the health of the bathers. At any time if these variables are believed to have an impact on the beach’s safety, the beach will be posted as “Unsafe for Bathing”.

Posting information is available on the Health Unit website, on Facebook at or on Twitter at or by calling 1-800-660-5853.


Joan Mays, Manager of Community Health Protection, 613-345-5685
or Susan Healey, Communications Co-ordinator 613-802-0550