Beach monitoring, postings for E. coli and swimming days lost

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Niagara Region Public Health uses the Beach Management Protocol to monitor beach sites alongLakeOntario, Lake Erie, the southern Niagara River and the public beach atDilsLake. They take samples and post closings when the E-coli bacteria levels are high and health could be affected. causing infections, especially for elderly, young children and those with depressed immune systems. Beaches are posted as unsafe for swimming for floating debris, oil, excessive weed growth or bad odours.

 

The monitored beaches inNiagarawere posted 32% for 2009 and 2010 – up over 2.5 times since 2004, when they were posted 12.57% of the time. The 5 Lake Erie beach sites inPort Colborne, and the 3LakeOntariobeach sites inSt. Catharineshad the highest number of swimming days lost. Public Health is moving to a system of monitoring only 26 sites, but will monitor those sites more frequently.

 

Table 3.2   Beach monitoring and postings in Niagara 2003-2010

Year

Beaches Monitored

# Days Posted

# Days Monitored

Percentage of Swimming Days Lost

2003

50

1176

4550

25.85%

2004

52

595

4732

12.57%

2005

53

819

4641

16.98%

2006

36

1050

3852

27.26%

2007

36

810

3924

21%

2008

38

893

4066

22%

2009

38

1408

4401

32%

2010

38

1210

3670

32%

 

Source: Niagara Region Public Health. (2006). Niagara Region Beach Monitoring Report.

Figure 3.6

Lost swimming days

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