Beach water quality monitoring begins in June and continues to the Labour Day weekend. The Health Unit regularly samples designated public beaches for bacteria. However, due to the delay in receiving lab results, beach goers cannot rely on only lab results to know if it is safe to swim. Learn how to make an informed decision about beach water quality before swimming.
A swimming advisory is a warning to swimmers but it is not a beach closure. During a swimming advisory, a beach is posted with warning signs when the water contains levels of bacteria that indicate there may be an increased risk of developing minor skin, eye, ear, nose and throat infections and stomach disorders. If you choose to swim during a swimming advisory it may be prudent to avoid ducking your head or swallowing the water.
A beach closure is issued when a catastrophic event occurs or an immediate risk to health is present. Sewage spills or toxic chemical releases are examples. Beach closures are rare.
During the beach season active advisories and closures will be posted in a table below. When the table is visible, follow these tips for using the table:
*Provincial Park beaches are monitored by the Ministry of Natural Resources and beach water quality for these parks can be viewed here: http://www.ontarioparks.com