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News Release

Information on Beach-Postings - final update for 2017 season

Two beaches posted for elevated bacteria levels, a third posted for elevated bacteria levels and the potential presence of blue-green algae, the fourth for heavy algae growth

WHITBY, ON August 31, 2017 - The following represents beach-posting information for Durham Region beaches. Test results for the week of Aug. 28 indicate that two beaches, Beaverton North and Beaverton South, both in Brock Township, have been posted as unsafe for swimming due to elevated levels of E. coli. Beaches with elevated levels of E. coli are posted as unsafe for swimming when bacteria levels exceed the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care standard of 100 E. coli per 100 ml of water. Kinsmen Beach in Scugog has been posted for elevated E.coli levels and the potential presence of blue-green algae, while Newcastle Beach in Clarington has been posted for heavy algae growth. This report represents the Health Department’s final update for the 2017 summer season.

Due to the potential presence of blue-green algae at Kinsmen Beach, as a precaution, water quality advisory signs are also posted in the area advising against swimming, drinking or other uses, as blue-green algae could be harmful to the health of both humans and pets.

Newcastle Beach in Clarington has been posted for heavy algae growth that could cause entanglement or impact the ability to see someone in distress. The heavy algae growth in Newcastle Beach is not blue-green algae and this beach has not been posted for elevated levels of E. coli.

"It’s important to note that the algae growth at Newcastle Beach is not the blue-green algae that has been present in another Durham Region beach," explained Laura Freeland, Manager, Environmental Health with Durham Region Health Department. "As a result, the algae growth at Newcastle Beach does not present the same health concerns. However, while test results for Newcastle Beach do not indicate elevated levels of E. coli, the water does have a very cloudy appearance as well as heavy algae accumulation along the shoreline and on the beach. Therefore, for physical safety reasons, it’s recommended that you do not go into the water if it’s cloudy, or if there is extensive plant-life, or dead and accumulating algae in the water."

Municipality

Beach

OPEN/POSTED

Ajax

Pickering Beach

OPEN

Brock

Beaverton North Beach

POSTED

Beaverton South Beach

POSTED

Thorah Centennial Park

OPEN

Clarington

Bowmanville East

OPEN

Bowmanville West

OPEN

Newcastle Beach Central

POSTED

Oshawa

Lakeview Beach East

OPEN

Lakeview Beach West

NOT TESTED**

Pickering

Frenchman's Bay East

OPEN

Frenchman's Bay West

OPEN

Scugog

Kinsmen Beach

POSTED

Uxbridge

Elgin Pond

OPEN

Whitby

Whitby Beach

OPEN

**Due to safety reasons created by the high water levels in Lake Ontario, the Health Department did not conduct beach sampling at Lakeview Beach West during the 2017 season.

The Health Department reminds the public not to swim in beach water for at least 48 hours after heavy rainfall, as bacteria levels can increase due to run-off

Throughout the summer, Durham Region Health Department conducted bacteriological water tests to determine if these beaches were safe for swimming. The Public Health Ontario Laboratory in Peterborough provided analysis of all water samples submitted for testing.

Each week when test results were reviewed, they were sent to members of the media to assist with public notification of beach postings.

For more information about the Health Department’s Beach Monitoring program, please visit durham.ca/beaches, or call the Environmental Help Line at 905-723-3818 or 1-888-777-9613.

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Media inquiries:

Regional Municipality of Durham:
Glendene Collins – Health Department, 905-668-7711 ext. 2999, glendene.collins@durham.ca

If this information is required in an accessible format, please call 1-800-841-2729 ext. 3094.

For more information, please contact Health Department.