E. coli Levels and Water Quality
E. coli bacteria together with other harmful micro-organisms are found in animal and human waste. As an indicator of water quality, E. coli bacteria levels in beach water are measured regularly. Toronto Public Health uses this information to assess the risk of infections resulting from exposure to all harmful germs including E. coli found in polluted beach water.
In Ontario the standard for beach water quality is set by the Ministry of the Environment at 100 E. coli per 100 millilitres of water. Swimming in waters with E. coli levels greater than the provincial standard is considered to exposes the bather to increased risk of infections. They include ear, nose and throat infections, as well as upset stomach, skin rashes and diarrhea. Those most susceptible to infections from harmful germs in polluted water include young children, the elderly and those with depressed or weakened immune systems.
Water quality is tested every day from June to August at all the listed beaches. It takes 24 hours to get the results which are posted on this site.
Beach posted unsafe by the Medical Officer of Health
Bathing in these polluted waters may increase the risk of acquiring infections. To prevent illness from such infections, the Medical Officer of Health recommends bathers not enter these temporarily polluted waters.
Beach posted safe by the Medical Officer of Health
E. coli levels in the beach water are within the provincial standards and bathing in these waters is considered not to pose an increased risk of infections in healthy bathers.
Data not available
Occasionally Toronto Public Health is not able to test the water quality due to circumstances such as adverse weather conditions.
Last updated July 2011