Ottawa’s public beaches are safe for swimming (July 21)

Heading to the beach? You’re in luck — Ottawa’s public beaches are safe for swimming as of July 21 at 3 pm Here’s the latest beach water quality report from Ottawa Public Health:

  • Britannia Beach (2805 Carling Avenue) tested safe for swimming on July 21
  • Mooney’s Bay Beach (2926 Riverside Drive) tested safe for swimming on July 21
  • Petrie Island East Bay Beach (727 Tweddle Road) tested safe for swimming on July 21
  • Petrie Island River Beach (727 Tweddle Road) tested safe for swimming on July 21

During the summer, Ottawa Public Health monitors E. coli levels at four public beaches. Water is considered unsafe for swimming when one sample contains 400 or more E. coli bacteria per 100 millilitres, or the geometric mean of five samples is 200 or more, according to public health guidelines from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

Collecting, transporting and testing beach water for E. coli can take a day or more, so the latest available data may not reflect current conditions at the beach. Swimming is not recommended when it’s raining, the water is wavy or cloudy, there are lots of birds, or for two days after a big storm.

Consuming E. coli can cause serious illness, including stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. When high levels of the bacteria are detected it’s more likely that other harmful organisms are present as well, including those that cause skin rashes and eye, ear, nose and throat infections.

A beach may also be considered unsafe for swimming due to weather conditions, runoff, pollution, spills, smells, garbage, sharp debris and dead fish. In addition, public beaches are monitored for blue-green algae, which can be highly toxic to humans, dogs and other animals.

About this story

This story is automatically generated using data from Ottawa Public Health.

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