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- High-Water Levels on Lake Ontario Could Affect Swimming, Health Unit Advises -

(NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY) – As high-water levels in Lake Ontario slowly decline, a word of caution is being left in their wake.

This week, the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit officially launches its beach water testing program for summer 2017. However, local health officials say it’s not business as usual – at least for the next few weeks as Lake Ontario water levels return to normal.

“High-water levels on Lake Ontario have affected many of the beaches that we test, including ones in Port Hope, Cobourg, Wicklow and Brighton,” says Debbie Johnston, Manager of Environmental Health with the HKPR District Health Unit. “Due to the high-water levels, we caution people that there may be higher-than-normal levels of E.coli contamination present in the surface water, as well as hidden hazards and debris. We encourage families using Lake Ontario beaches to be watchful for signs of contamination and to check with the Health Unit for the latest beach testing results each week.”

As levels in Lake Ontario recede, small pools of water have also formed on or around beaches. The Health Unit is cautioning people to stay healthy by keeping clear of these pools of water, which can be breeding grounds for illness. “Generally, these pools contain standing or stagnant water that is warmer than the lake water, producing perfect conditions for algae and bacteria production,” Johnston says. “It’s especially important to keep young children and pets away from this water to avoid illness.”

For media inquiries, contact:
Debbie Johnston, Manager of Environmental Health, HKPR District Health Unit, (905) 885-9100,
or Richard Ovcharovich, Manager of Environmental Health, HKPR District Health Unit, (705) 324-3569.

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«January 2019»