E. coli testing returns to five city beaches

But only on a twice weekly basis

Taking a summer dip at a Toronto beach is a little safer now that water testing has resumed at five sandy hot spots.

The city had suspended beach water tests for E. coli levels at all eleven designated beaches due to the strike that began June 22.

However, it is now conducting tests twice weekly at Sunnyside, Cherry, Woodbine, Kew-Balmy and Bluffer’s Park beaches.

“These five are located along the waterfront and by testing here it ensures residents have access to a beach close to their neighbourhood,” city spokesperson Rob Andrusevich said yesterday.

Normally the city tests beach water daily during the summer season.

“During the labour disruption, we don’t have the staff in place to test every day,” he said. “Two times a week meets the requirements of the Minister of Health and Long-term Care.”

However, six other beaches are not getting tested. They are Rouge, Marie Curtis Park East, Hanlan’s Point, Gibraltar Point, Centre Island and Ward’s Island.

The latest results from July 4 were posted on the city’s site at www.toronto.ca/beach. They indicate all five beaches are safe for swimming and the remaining six are swim at your own risk as no tests are conducted. There are still lifeguards at all eleven beaches.

“After a 48 hours of heavy rainfalls, the water quality may worsen especially at beaches near rivers,” said Andrusevich.

About this article:

By: Kris Scheuer
Posted: Jul 7 2009 10:19 am
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto