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Beach Testing Program Starts Next Week

June 20, 2023

The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit will be starting this year’s weekly water sampling of 23 public bathing beaches around the Leeds Grenville and Lanark area. The results of the testing will appear on our website and social media starting on Friday, June 30, 2023 and be posted weekly until September 1.

The public beaches that are being tested in the north area are: Almonte Beach on the Mississippi; Centennial Beach in Carleton Place on the Mississippi; Riverside Beach in Carleton Place on the Mississippi; Pakenham Beach on the Mississippi; Dalhousie Lake Beach Lanark Highlands (McDonalds Corners); Roberston Lake Beach in Lanark Highlands (Lavant); Lanark Village Beach; Rideau Ferry Yacht Club; Smiths Falls jr. and sr. beaches; Merrickville Beach (Rideau Canal) .

The public beaches that are being tested in the south area are: Bellamy Park Beach in Toledo; Foley Mountain Beach in Westport; Joel Stone Beach in Gananoque; Kelly’s Beach in Prescott; Kendrick’s Park Beach in Lyndhurst; Lower Beverly Lake beach in Delta; Lyn Valley Park beach in Lyn; Campbell Street Beach in Portland; Sandy Bay beach in Charleston Lake; Sand Lake Beach in Westport; South Crosby beach; St. Lawrence park beach in Brockville.

Beaches are sampled once a week and monitored for E. Coli. Research has shown that when people are swimming or in the water (bathing) at beaches where the water has a high E. coli level (above the standard of 200) there is a direct relationship with an increase in ear, eye, nose and throat infections in swimmers. Therefore when samples exceed 200, the beach is posted with a warning sign “unsafe for bathing” 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”, check out the Health Unit website Beaches page.

Testing the water for bacteria is one factor used to determine water quality. The quality of surface water is changeable so the health unit advises bathers to consider other issues that may affect the quality and safety of the water, such as heavy rain within 24 hours and water fowl droppings in the water or on the beach as these may contribute to high bacteria levels. Beach goers should also be on the lookout for the presence of harmful algal blooms and signs of accidental spills that may pollute the water.

It’s important to remember that the samples the Health Unit takes are only the results of that specific moment in time. It can take days to get results from that sample. Water quality can change day to day or even within a few hours. Beach testing is only one small piece of information you can use to determine whether you’re comfortable with swimming, and it’s always important to examine the beach and water before you swim.

Change rooms and washrooms may not always be open to the public so come prepared for the beach by changing at home. Remember to bring hand sanitizer so that you can clean your hands frequently, especially before eating.

Information about recreational water safety and beach water testing results for each week are posted by Friday at 9am on our Weekly Beach Results page, @LGLHealthUnit on Facebook and Twitter or by calling 1-800-660-5853.


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