On Saturday, July 28, hours before the Celebration of Light, a swimming advisory was issued for Sunset and Kitsilano beaches including Kitsilano Point in Vancouver.
The warning was due to high levels of bacteria, specifically E. coli, which increases the risk of gastrointestinal illness to swimmers.
.@VCHhealthcare advised today of high bacteria levels at #SunsetBeach and #KitsBeach: Both beaches are CLOSED for swimming until further notice. All other western beaches are open, as are English Bay, 2nd, & 3rd Beaches. Pls abide by signage. Lifeguards at all sites 12-8:30pm. pic.twitter.com/MAg4oeOGUt
— Vancouver Park Board (@ParkBoard) July 29, 2018
Although all beaches remain open for public use, swimming and wading are not recommended.
Metro Vancouver beaches are monitored through the summer months to keep in compliance with the Canadian Recreational Water Quality Guidelines. The guidelines recommend a level of less than 200 E.coli bacteria per 100 ml of water.
When the sample amount exceeds the level, the event is considered a known hazard or spill and an assessment is made to determine the possible health risks and the best approach to protect the waters.
Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) is currently working to monitor the water quality and has explained that the swimming advisory will be removed once bacteria levels have decreased.
E.coli counts for Metro Vancouver beaches are updated every Friday. VCH will reevaluate the status of the beaches closer to the date.
Trout Lake was closed earlier in July due to E.coli levels exceeding a healthy threshold.