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Monthly Board Report - November 2000
Bathing Beach Sampling Report 2000
Submitted by Marty Moir, Public Health Inspector
Throughout the summer of 2000, the Health Protection Department of the Health Unit sampled bathing beaches in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark Counties. Between June 19 and Labour Day, twenty-five beaches were routinely sampled. Beaches are selected for sampling using the Beach Management Protocol of the Ministry of Health. To be included in the routine sampling, beaches must have a municipally operated swimming program. Private beaches and non-municipally operated public swimming area are not sampled.
Five samples are collected at each beach during the weekly sampling. These samples are tested for the presence of E.Coli which is used as the indicator organism for the bacteriological safety of the water. Swimming is not recommended when E.Coli levels exceed 100 beaches are "posted" at that point.
During the past bathing season, 13 of the 25 beaches were found to be unsatisfactory at least once due to unacceptable levels of E.Coli.
As in previous years, notification of beach postings were given to the operator of the beach, signage was erected to warn the public and weekly Beach Status Reports were given to radio stations in Smiths Falls and Brockville. For the first time, beach status information was posted on the Health Unit's web site.
Despite the almost continuous and often heavy rains early in the bathing season, the number and duration of beach postings was only marginally greater than those of the previous year.