Popular local beaches unsuitable for swimming due to E. coli

Jul 1 2023, 9:00 pm

Before Vancouverites head to the beach to revel in the hot summer temperatures, they should check out how much E. coli is in the water before taking a dip.

According to Vancouver Coastal Health’s public beach water quality reports, there are currently two popular swimming destinations that are best left for another day:

  • Sandy Beach on Bowen Island
  • Kitsilano Point in Vancouver

Here’s a map of all the current advisories:

This map shows the latest water quality updates and status for each ocean and freshwater beach in the VCH region. You can click on the icons to learn more about the sampling results.

Water samples on beaches with advisories are showing high counts of E. coli, meaning that swimmers could increase their chances of getting gastrointestinal illnesses and skin or eye infections.

Where is the E. coli coming from?

According to VCH, there are “many possible sources of E.coli contamination,” including:

  • Contamination from recreational vehicles
  • Animal waste
  • Sewer overflows
  • Leaking septic tanks
  • Discharge from boats

Safety tips for Vancouver beaches

VCH has a number of tips for safely enjoying swimming in the region including:

  • Avoid swallowing water
  • Avoid swimming with an open cut or wound
  • Avoid swimming for 48 hours after a significant rainfall
  • Avoid swimming in murky/turbid water
  • Stay away from the water if you are experiencing digestive or intestinal problems
  • After swimming, wash your hands before handling food
Sarah AndersonSarah Anderson

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