Ottawa’s public beaches are safe for swimming (July 2)

On the way to the beach? You’re in luck—Ottawa’s public beaches are safe for swimming starting July 2 at 5 p.m. Here is the latest beach water quality report from Ottawa Public Health:

  • Britannia Beach (2805 Carling Avenue) tested safe for swimming on July 2
  • Mooney’s Bay Beach (2926 Riverside Drive) tested safe for swimming on July 2
  • Petrie Island East Bay Beach (727 Tweddle Road) tested safe for swimming on July 2
  • Petrie Island River Beach (727 Tweddle Road) tested safe for swimming on July 2

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

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

The consumption of E. coli can cause serious illness including stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. When high levels of bacteria are detected, it is more likely that other harmful organisms are also present, including those that cause rashes and infections of the eyes, ears, nose and throat.

A beach can also be considered unsafe for swimming due to weather conditions, runoff, pollution, spills, odors, trash, sharp debris, and dead fish. Additionally, public beaches are monitored for blue-green algae, which can be very toxic to humans, dogs, and other animals.

About this story

This story is automatically generated at 7 a.m. and updated hourly until 5 p.m. as new data becomes available using Ottawa Public Health Open Data.

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