Lambton Public Health

Beaches

This page was reviewed or revised on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 1:49 PM

Beach Water Quality Monitoring Program

Beach Water Testing in Lambton
Beach Water Sample Results - beach advisories
Lifeguard Status and Warning Flags

Beach Water Testing in Lambton

During the summer, Lambton County beaches provide tourists and local residents with a relaxing place to swim and play recreational sports. To ensure water is safe for swimming, Lambton Public Health tests and monitors seven public beaches from the beginning of June to the end of August for levels of E.coli bacteria.

Why Monitor Public Beaches?

Beaches are monitored to determine pollution levels in the water to prevent illness in bathers. Water is tested for E.coli bacteria. High levels of bacteria increase the risk of skin, eye, ear, nose and throat infections or gastrointestinal illness.

While weekly water sampling at public beaches is a good way to monitor beaches for bacteria, the delay in receiving lab results and the frequency of testing will only provide part of the information you need. Therefore, LPH will also be using a predictive model at some of its beaches to determine if a beach could have high levels of E.coli.

What Beaches are Monitored in Lambton?

The following beaches are monitored and tested weekly by Lambton Public Health:

BEACH WATER SAMPLE RESULTS - beach advisories

Why are Beaches Posted?

Ontario beaches are posted with warnings of possible health risks when high levels of E.coli are detected or predicted. E.coli bacteria are found in the intestines and feces of all warm-blooded animals. Warnings are posted when the levels of E.coli exceed (or are predicted to exceed) the provincial guidelines (100 E.coli per 100mL of beach water). Beach warning signs are removed after the E.coli levels have decreased (or are predicted to decrease) to acceptable levels.

Before Using a Beach

Beaches in Lambton have a history of being safe. High bacteria levels usually occur due to weather-related events.

You can judge the water quality yourself by answering the following 4 simple questions together with the latest beach sampling results:

  1. Is the beach posted with a warning sign?
  2. Was there heavy rain in the last 24 to 48 hours? If so, bacteria levels may be higher and swimming is not recommended.
  3. Is the water cloudy? If you can't see your feet at adult's waist depth, bacterial levels may be higher and swimming is not recommended.
  4. Are there any other problems with the beach? Large number of waterfowl, dead fish, algae/scum, dangerous debris etc. indicate an increased health risk.

Water quality information is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling the Beach Water Quality Information Line at 519-383-3816, toll free at 1-800-667-1839 ext. 3816.

Additional Safety Resources

Algae

Blue Flag Beaches

Public Beaches in Surrounding Counties

Water Wise - a safety and injury prevention campaign to reduce drowning and other water-related injuries. The goal of Water Wise is to raise awareness, provide education and to create supportive environments to promote water safety.

Water Wise logo - play safe!