Popular Vancouver beaches "not suitable" for swimming due to E. coli (MAP)

Jul 11 2022, 5:10 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 beach water quality reports, there are a handful of hot swimming destinations that are best left for another day.

Sandy Beach and Snug Cove on Bowen Island, Trout Lake in East Vancouver, and Locarno Beach on the West Side all have advisories in effect right now and are considered “not suitable for swimming,” according to VCH.

Here’s a map of all the current advisories:

The map shows the latest water quality updates and status for each ocean and fresh water 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.

Many other beaches remain open to swimming, including Third Beach and Ambleside Park.

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
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