E. coli bacteria levels have decreased to safe levels at three West Vancouver beaches, prompting Vancouver Coastal Health to issue an advisory that these waters are now safe for swimming.
Tests performed on August 21 indicate bacteria levels have fallen below the unsafe threshold for Ambleside, Dundarave and Sandy Cove beaches.
Bacteria levels in these waters soared over the summer due to contaminants and heat, declining only whenever precipitation and cool weather moved into the region over extended periods. However, E. coli levels could quickly increase again with next week’s forecast of the return of an extended period of sunny and warm weather.
Meanwhile, swimming is still not recommended in the waters of Eagle Harbour Beach and Whytecliff Beach in West Vancouver and Sunset Beach in downtown Vancouver. Bacteria levels in the western, central and eastern sections of False Creek have also grown exponentially.
The Canadian Recreational Water Quality Guidelines recommend a level of less than 200 E. coli bacteria per 100 mL of water for primary contact recreational activities such as swimming.
Symptoms of E. coli sickness include bloody diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting and a low-grade fever.
Feature Image: West Vancouver via Shutterstock