News Release: Beach Water Test Results Available June 13
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 12, 2018 | 10:00 a.m. | Windsor-Essex County
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has launched the 2018 beach water quality testing program at 9 local beaches. On Monday June 11, beach water samples were taken by the Health Unit from Sand Point Beach, West Belle River Beach, North West Beach at Point Pelee, Seacliff Park Beach, Mettawas Beach, Cedar Island Beach, Cedar Beach, Colchester Beach, and Holiday Beach.
The samples were then sent to the public health lab in London, Ontario for E.coli bacteria count analysis. Tomorrow afternoon, the first sampling results for 2018 will be posted on wechu.org, provided on the beach hotline at 519-258-2146, extension 426 (H2O), and shared on Facebook and Twitter.
“The public needs to be aware of the risks involved in swimming at any beach. The Health Unit provides E.coli bacteria counts from samples taken on Mondays, so that people can decide if they should go in the water or stay on the beach. It’s important to read and follow the warnings on the signs” says Jenny Tan, Public Health Inspector with the Health Unit.
Public beaches must post a warning or a closure sign if the beach results show higher than acceptable levels of E. coli bacteria. The public should also avoid swimming after a heavy rainfall as pollution in beach water is often much higher during and right after rainstorms.
“Swimming or playing in unsafe water may result in illnesses such as minor skin, eye, ear, nose, and throat infections or diarrhea. Those most at risk are children, elderly, and those with weakened immune system.” says Dr. Wajid Ahmed, Acting Medical Officer of Health, Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.
How can you stay safe at the beach?
- Check for beach results online or by calling our beach hotline (519-258-2146 ext. 426) before going to the beach.
- Read and obey the signs posted at the beach.
- Don’t go swimming if you can’t see your feet underwater when you’re standing in waist deep water.
- Don’t go swimming if the water is rough, cloudy, or green.
- Don’t swim for at least 48 hours after a heavy rainfall or wind.
- Look for drainage pipes at the beach and avoid swimming near them.
- If you think you may have become ill from beach water, be sure to see your health care provider.
Until September 5, the Health Unit will be collecting beach water samples from the local area beaches every Monday and share the test results with the community every Wednesday afternoon. For more beach safety background information, please visit the Health Unit’s website.
Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
519-258-2146 ext. 6397 (news)