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Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Recreational Water - Beach Water Testing

Here is the LIST OF BEACHES monitored on a weekly basis by the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit.


Beach Water: Testing for Bacteria


Are our Beaches Safe for Swimming?

The Health Protection Department of the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit conducts testing and inspection activities to determine the quality of beach water.

Public Health Inspectors collect water samples from municipally owned & operated beaches weekly from June to September.

Other beaches with public access may also be tested where the Medical Officer of Health believes swimming may result in illness.


A minimum of 5 samples are collected each time along the length of the beach.

Samples Are:

  • Collected weekly and analysed at the local public health laboratories.

  • Tested for E. coli bacteria, an indicator of sewage contamination.

  • High levels of bacteria in recreational water may cause skin irritation, eye, ear and throat infections, or intestinal illness.



Contamination of beach water can be caused by:

  • Bathers

  • Birds

  • Surface Water Runoff

  • Animals

  • Sewage Spills

  • Private Sewage Disposal Systems

  • Pleasure Boats

When the geometric mean (like an average) of 5 separate samples is greater than 100 E.coli per 100ml of water), Health Inspectors "post" the beach as unsafe for swimming.



Posting Means...

The Medical Officer of Health Recommends that people avoid swimming due to high levels of bacteria.

A sign is placed at the beach to warn bathers that the water is polluted and unhealthy for swimming.

This sign remains posted until further tests show that the water is safe for recreational use.




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Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit
Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit