Bacteria levels limit swimming

Although it’s not unheard of, it is a rare occurrence.

Last week, from Tuesday through Thursday the Iroquois beach was posted as unsafe for swimming, while the Morrisburg beach remained open.

“Usually it’s the other way around,” said Ben McPherson, South Dundas recreation coordinator.

It was the last week for the lifeguards at the two area beaches so those in Iroquois were left to inform those wanting to use the beach that the water had been deemed unsafe, cleaning up the area and some, who were able, finished up some ongoing swimming lessons at the Morrisburg beach instead.

“It is strange to have the Iroquois beach posted and Morrisburg not posted,” agreed Don Lewis, long time manager of South Dundas parks and recreation. “But, it has happened once before,” he said, recalling one other similar circumstance in more than a dozen years.

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit samples the swimming water at all local public beaches throughout the operating season to ensure it does not exceed the established bacteria levels. If bacteria levels exceed the safe swimming limit of 100 E. coli per 100 ml of water, a sign is posted advising people not to swim. Beaches are re-opened after E. coli levels return to acceptable levels.

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