June 25, 2003

York Region Beach Sampling Program begins

NEWMARKET - With the long weekend approaching and the hot days of summer officially here, you may want to cool off and spend time at a York Region beach with family and friends. York Region Health Services monitors water quality at York Regionís public bathing beaches during the summer months to ensure that the water quality is safe for swimming.

A minimum of five water samples are collected by Health Services staff from each site twice a week and tested by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Laboratories Branch, for bacterial quality. High levels of bacteria can cause skin, ear, eye, nose and throat infections as well as stomach disorders.

If bacterial counts exceed provincial guidelines (100 E.coli per 100ml of water), Health Services will post a sign at the beach advising the public that the water is unsafe for swimming. Beaches will be closed when there are indications of hazardous or infectious materials present in the water, or in the event of a blue-green algae bloom. When the water is once again safe for swimming, the beach will be re-opened.

The following public bathing beaches are tested:

Lake Simcoe:

Claredon Beach

Balfour Beach

De La Salle Beach

Franklin Beach

Holmes Point

Island Grove

Jacksonís Point Beach

Keswick Beach

North Gwillimbury Park

Parkwood Crescent Beach

Penninsula Motel

Port Bolster Beach

Willow Beach

Other Locations in York Region:

Cedar Beach, Musselman's lake, Whitchurch-Stouffville

Recreation Island, Seneca College, King City

Sunset Beach, Lake Wilcox, Richmond Hill

Shadow lake, Whitchurch-Stouffville

There are many factors that contribute to water pollution at our beaches, including:

How can you help?

Several private beach associations monitor their own beach water quality. York Region Health Services welcomes the opportunity to assist beach associations with the set-up of water sampling programs.

To find out if your favourite beach is safe for swimming or for more information about the Beach Sampling Program contact York Region Health Services Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 (toll free) or visit Beach Sampling Results on the York Region web site www.region.york.on.ca (YORK REGION>Departments>Health Services>Beach Sampling Results).


Contact: Kim Clark, York Region Health Services

905-830-4444 Ext. 4101

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