Cobourg Inner Harbour Has Likely Had High Readings Of E.Coli For Years

In Editor Choice, Local

Approximately 100 metres of fencing was installed along the inner harbour beach area in Cobourg on Wednesday, July 29, 2020.

The fencing was installed as a result of high E. Coli readings which poses serious health risks.

Until the readings improve the Haliburton, Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit has advised the Town of Cobourg there will be no swimming in the inner harbour.

The latest beach and harbour water quality report sampled on July 26 showed bacteria levels above 1,400 E.coli which exceeds the provincial standard of 200 E. coli.

The HKPR District Health Unit and Town of Cobourg staff both sample water once a week to monitor bacteria levels. As a result of a combination of extended high temperatures, very little rain and high concentrations of water fowl in the west harbour basin the most recent E. Coli bacteria tests results are now indicating levels that require West Harbour to close immediately.

In a interview with Today’s Northumberland, Town of Cobourg Emergency Planner, Shannon Murphy said the inner harbour beach has never been tested before for E. coli and likely has had high readings before.

“It would not be surprising, just because it is a harbour. And we would expect to find high E. Coli and high bacterial levels inside a harbour.”

The area has an area of sand approximately 100 metres long and with the east beach closed, the inner harbour beach has had more people on it this summer.

“The idea was never to test it. It’s a harbour, it’s for boats. It’s never been intended for swimming.”

Head Coach of the Cobourg Dragon Boat and Canoe Club, Jeremy Fowlie said they have been working with town staff to provide access for their participants to use the west boat launch dock.

“Our staff will assist them getting into their boats from the dock so that no one enters the water. We will use out stable boats until the E. Coli count drops down.”

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

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