Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPR District Health Unit) will be launching its Beach Water Monitoring program, providing regular E. coli test results across the 53 monitored public beaches within County of Haliburton, the City of Kawartha Lakes, and Northumberland County.
The annual HKPR District Health Unit Beach Water Monitoring program begins June 12 and runs until September 4, 2023 (Labour Day) to test waters at designated beaches and inform the public when elevated levels of E. coli bacteria are identified. As part of this program, HKPR District Health Unit public health staff collect water samples from each beach for monitoring. These samples are then sent to a provincial lab and tested for levels of E. coli bacteria.
The Beach Water Monitoring program results will be updated every Friday on the HKPR District Health Unit’s website hkpr.on.ca/BeachCheck and social media platforms @HKPRDHU. In addition, warning signs will be prominently displayed at local beaches to inform beachgoers about water safety.
In 2022, HKPR District Health Unit adopted a three-colour system to report beach results:
LOW RISK The beach is open and safe for swimming.
MODERATE RISK Serves as a warning that high bacteria counts may be present in the water, and swimming is not advised at that time to prevent potential illness. If individuals choose to swim, they are advised to avoid submerging their heads or swallowing water.
HIGH RISK Indicates that a beach is closed due to elevated levels of bacteria, rendering it unsafe for swimming.
“It’s alarming to discover that a significant number of beachgoers fail to check our beach water test results before they enter the water,” said Bernie Mayer, Health Protection Manager for the HKPR District Health Unit. “Our 2022 Resident Survey revealed that 69 per cent of respondents did not check the beach water test results before entering the water. Please, enjoy your summer but also prioritize your health. Stay informed, check our website before swimming and have fun!”