The health unit assesses over 28 public beaches across our region. Beach samples are taken if there is reason to believe that beach water may not be safe for swimming, usually in response to complaints. Click here to see any recent beach water test results.
If you are concerned about the safety of a particular public beach in the region, call the health unit and you will be connected with a public health inspector.
Beach Health and Safety
While planning a trip to the beach, ensure that you think about weather events that have happened within the last 2 days. Water may contain high levels of bacteria for up to 2 days following heavy rainfall or strong winds. Also, watch for water fowl like geese, gulls and ducks. Large numbers of water fowl at a beach can result in high bacteria levels making the beach unsafe.
The health unit recommends that beach users follow these safety tips to prevent illness or injury:
- Do not drink the water
- Supervise your children at all times
- Don’t swim with an open cut or wound
- Avoid swimming if the water is cloudy or murky
- Check for physical hazards before going into the water
- Wash your hands after swimming if you are handling food
- Wear sunscreen
Please note that some beaches and all playgrounds across our region are smoke free.
Public beaches have permanent signage installed in designated locations. The permanent sign allows individuals to use their own judgment about whether or not it is safe to swim based on the current beach conditions.
In addition red closure signs are posted when there are very high levels of bacteria that exist in the water, and it is unsafe to swim. They are also used if there are any physical or chemical hazards present at the beach. Individuals should not swim at beaches where this sign is posted.
Click here to view public beach closures in our region.
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