Beach water monitoring to begin tomorrow

As COVID-19 transmission remains controlled in Niagara, Niagara Region Public Health is working with municipalities to safely reopen beaches with appropriate controls. To prepare for this, Niagara Region Public Health has begun onsite assessments of beaches and will begin posting water quality results to our website on Friday, June 26.
 
“Niagara Region Public Health staff monitor 18 beaches weekly to assess safety concerns such as algae growth, debris or spills, as well as to collect water samples for bacteria testing,” said Anthony Habjan, acting director, Environmental Health, Niagara Region Public Health. “Providing up-to-date information on the safety of each location will allow residents to make an informed decision to go swimming once beaches reopen.”
 
Beach water quality can frequently depend on the weather and can also be impacted by a large number of swimmers, wind and high waves, a large number of birds, and heavy rainfall. Entering the water with high bacteria levels can cause eye, ear, nose, throat and skin infections, as well as stomach problems if the water is swallowed.
 
The list of beaches where water is tested by Niagara Region Public Health can be found on the Beach Water Testing in Niagara page. Test results will be posted (to this website) starting Friday, June 26. Beach water testing information is also available through the beach hotline at 905-688-8248 ext. 7789 (or 1-888-505-6074). The unsafe for swimming warning signs are no longer posted onsite at the beaches.
 
The public should continue to check local municipality websites for the most up-to-date information regarding beach opening dates, public access, as well as what facilities and services are available before planning a visit.
 
In order to protect our residents and visitors from COVID-19, beaches will open with physical distancing measures in place, and residents are strongly urged to voluntarily do their part to prevent the spread of infection. As beaches open, it is more important than ever that we play our part to keep our community safe and COVID-19 transmission low in Niagara. When you head to the beach, please do so responsibly by taking steps to keep yourself and others safe:
  • Practice physical distancing by avoiding unnecessary close interaction with others (stay 2 metres apart). If a beach is busy or crowded, please don’t attend.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand rub
  • Wear a cloth face mask in public when physical distancing cannot be maintained
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve

Contact

Kerri Stoakley
Niagara Region Public Health
905-688-8248 ext. 7303
kerri.stoakley@niagararegion.ca


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