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Public Beaches

Beach water testing

The public beach monitoring program has ended for 2023 season and will resume in June 2024.

Every summer between June and September (Labour Day weekend), we collect water samples from public beaches within Simcoe and Muskoka. Water samples are collected on a weekly basis, but sampling frequencies may be reduced to monthly when historical data indicates water quality was consistently good during the previous sampling season.  Beach sampling frequencies are also altered based on environmental conditions such as inclement weather and poor air quality.

In Ontario, water samples are tested for E. coli bacteria and the beach may be posted when bacteria levels exceed the recreational water quality guideline of 200 E. coli per 100 mL of water.

Beaches may also be unsafe due to excessive weed growth, oil, floating debris, turbidity and blue-green algae blooms. In addition to water sampling, we conduct observational safety assessments as part of our summer beach program.

 LEGEND:

safe-to-swim This beach is open.

Due to the delay in receiving lab results, don’t rely only on water samples when considering what beach to visit. Learn how to make an informed decision about beach water quality before swimming.

advisory A swimming advisory is posted.

List of current swimming advisories.

During a swimming advisory, the beach is posted with warning signs indicating that the most recent water samples showed bacteria in numbers that may increase your risk of developing minor skin, eye, ear, nose or throat infections or stomach illness. If you choose to swim during a swimming advisory, avoid dunking your head or swallowing the water.

beach-closedThis beach is closed.

A beach is closed when a significant risk to health and safety has been identified such as a sewage or chemical spill. Beach closures are rare.

*Provincial Park beaches (i.e.: Wasaga Beach) are monitored by the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks.  Beach water quality for these parks can be viewed here:  http://www.ontarioparks.com

‚ÄčTesting Results by Area:

Beach water testing began June 19th, 2023. Poor weather and air quality conditions is causing delays and cancellations for beach sampling.  Beaches are tested Monday-Thursday subject to the environmental conditions.  This page will be updated as we receive results. Keep checking back for the most up to date information.

Inspection types

  • Routine: A regularly scheduled water sample collection and inspection of the beach.
  • Follow-Up: When previous water samples have shown high levels of bacteria, follow-up tests are taken.
  • Complaint: An inspection is conducted when we receive a complaint about a public beach.

 

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