Can you Swim on that Beach? Find Out!


Water Quality Port Moody

The last week or so hasn’t been a great one for our local beaches. Elevated E.coli levels have closed the beaches at Old Orchard Park and Barnet Marine Park. It’s also making a visit to Rocky Point Park or a walk along the Shoreline Trail a little less attractive, even if you weren’t planning on going for a dip. You may recall that five years ago a similar warning was issued for White Pine Beach when fecal coliform levels got out of hand. All of this begs the question: how safe are local beaches?

Believe it or not, these warnings are actually a good sign. They’re happening because Fraser Health samples the water at local swimming areas during the spring or summer. This means that our health authorities are keeping on top of water quality, and alerting us to any issues. You can actually stop by their website anytime to get the latest readings for your favourite beach. There’s no need to wonder if it’s safe, you can find out here: fraserhealth.ca/your_environment/recreational_water

If you want to leave the Tri-Cities (shocking, I know, but it does occasionally happen), you can find out what’s happening at beaches in the Vancouver Coastal Health area as well.

If you were swimming at Old Orchard recently and you’re now wondering what to do about it, don’t panic. Fraser Health says “doing activities within recreational water before a posted beach closure does not necessarily mean you will get sick. However, if you experience signs of nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea after swimming in recreational water, we recommend that you seek medical attention.” Not exactly fun, we know, but always good to know.

Stay safe, and happy swimming … at a beach without elevated E.coli, ideally.

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