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Water sampling begins at Greater Sudbury beaches

Public health testing local water bacteria levels and beaches for safety hazards
Moonlight Beach in Greater Sudbury. (File)

Public Health Sudbury and Districts (PHSD) said water sampling and hazard checks have begun at all public beaches in the city to ensure the facilities are suitable for public recreational use. 

PHSD said "pre-seasonal assessment" began June 13 and will continue to June 29.

In addition to that, PHSD said testing would continue on Monday, July 4 to include all public beach fronts that will be inspected for safety hazards, and the water will be sampled on at least a monthly basis until September 2. 

"The water samples collected will be analyzed for E. coli bacteria, which normally inhabit the intestinal tract of humans and animals. The presence of this bacteria above acceptable levels can be an indication of fecal pollution, which could come from stormwater runoff, pets, or wildlife. If a bather ingests water with high concentrations of E. coli, they could experience an upset stomach, diarrhea, and vomiting, said the health unit.

PHSD also advises that if water samples show elevated concentrations of bacteria, public health will post signs warning the public that the beach is unsafe for swimming and daily samples will be collected to monitor the water quality at the beach. 

The swimming advisory signs will remain until tests show that the bacteria levels are acceptable.

PHSD has also provided some tips to keep you and your children safe in and around water this summer:

Avoid swimming and other recreational water activities for 48 hours after a heavy rainfall. E. coli levels may increase during this time.

Always supervise children in and around water and be sure to keep young children within arms’ reach.

Make sure young children and non-swimmers wear personal floatation devices (for example, life jackets) at all times.

Pay attention to any signs posted as they will have important information to keep you and your children safe.

Try not to swallow the water because it could make you or your children sick.

Also, members of the public are asked to contact Public Health for any blue-green algae sightings or physical hazards at a public beach. Blue-green algal blooms have an unsightly pea soup appearance and foul smell and can produce toxins. A public health inspector will provide immediate follow-up.

For more information on seasonal public beach water testing, please visit our website at or call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705-522-9200, ext. 398 (toll-free 1-866-522-9200).