Health unit warns against swimming at seven area beaches


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Swimming is not currently recommended at several area beaches because of high E.coli levels in the water, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit said Wednesday.

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Testing this week showed Belle River, Seacliff Beach, Point Pelee, Mettawas Beach, Colchester Beach, Holiday Beach had 200 or more E. coli per 100 millilitres of water. Warnings have been posted and swimming is not recommended.

Windsor’s Sand Point Beach is closed for swimming because the E.coli count exceeded 1,000.

Sand Point Beach will be re-sampled Wednesday per health unit protocol and the public will be notified when the beach is safe for swimming.

But for those still looking to get in the water, Cedar Beach and Cedar Island Beach in Kingsville are open and safe for swimming, according to the health unit’s most recent testing.

Water quality sampling is conducted at least once a week at nine locations across Windsor and Essex County from May through September to ensure E-coli levels are below provincial standards and the water is safe for swimming.

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Sampling is conducted each Monday, and beaches that are closed for swimming due to high E.coli levels are re-sampled on Wednesdays.

The health unit also notes that E.coli levels can change depending on weather conditions. Swimming isn’t recommended when you can’t see your feet underwater when standing in waist-deep water or the water is rough, cloudy or green, as well as for at least 48 hours after a heavy rainfall or wind. Residents can also look for drainage pipes at the beach and avoid swimming nearby.

Find the map of open beaches online at wechu.org or get information on swimming conditions by calling the health unit’s beach hotline at 519-258-2146 ext. 1490.

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Beachgoers embrace the high temperatures while at Sand Point Beach, on a very hot June 15, 2022. High E. coli counts in the water triggered a health unit warning not to swim until water quality conditions improve.
Beachgoers embrace the high temperatures while at Sand Point Beach, on a very hot June 15, 2022. High E. coli counts in the water triggered a health unit warning not to swim until water quality conditions improve. Photo by Dax Melmer /Windsor Star

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