Information About Public Beach Testing In Akwesasne

Ohiarihko:wa/ July 2, 2015

Community Health is advising the public that public beaches in Akwesasne are currently being monitored for the water safety.  Recreational water samples are tested for the presence of E.coli bacteria. When elevated levels of E.coli are detected in the water, it is probable that other organisms - which can pose a risk to your health - are likely present. 

Please note that the results take 18 to 24 hours to process in the laboratory, and as such, swim and no-swim advisories are based on sample results taken from the previous day. 

Private beaches: Where the public may have access through the owner, and “unofficial” bathing areas that may lie on public lands are not included in the sampling program.

How often are beaches sampled? Beach water quality monitoring begins from the end of June and continues to the end of August each year. The Community Health regularly samples designated public beaches for bacteria. Each beach is assessed by an Environmental Health Officer (EHO) based on usage, previous sample results and potential sources of contamination. 

When are Advisories Posted on Beaches?

Beach advisories will automatically be posted when a sample result of over 1000 E. Coli per sample is received, as studies indicate there is an elevated risk associated with these bacterial levels.

Consideration to posting a beach advisory will occur when:

  • The average of the past several sample results (also called a “geometric mean”) exceeds 200 E. Coli
  • A single sample result exceeds 400 E. coli.
  • Other public health hazards are identified.

For more information, please contact: Environmental Health Officer- MCA at 613-575-2341 ext 3226 or Allyson Lamesse at 613-575-2341 ext 3229.