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Beach Water Testing Program Ends for the Season

HKPR District Health Unit Public Health Inspectors sample 46 public beaches weekly for signs of E. coli

PORT HOPE, ON (August 31, 2022) – The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPR District Health Unit) would like to inform residents that the annual Beach Testing Water Program has come to a finish for the season. During the summer season a total of 46 public beaches in the City of Kawartha Lakes, Haliburton County and Northumberland County were regularly sampled for E. coli. These test results were then updated on a weekly basis on the HKPR District Health Unit’s Unit’s Beach Water Testing webpage and shared through social media channels (FacebookTwitter and Instagram). Signs are also posted at local beaches, indicating if conditions are right for swimming or not.

Based on bacteria counts in the water, the HKPR District Health Unit uses a three-colour system to report beach water test results: Green (open), Yellow (swimming not recommended), and Red (closed).

“I’d like to thank all of those residents who took the time to be informed about beach conditions and reviewed the beach water testing results before heading out,” said Bernie Mayer, Manager of Environmental Health with the HKPR District Health Unit. “We certainly have many beautiful bodies of water in our region that allow for swimming but can, on occasion, experience high counts of bacteria.”

There are several ways that beaches can become contaminated with bacteria. Storm water runoff, combined with sewer overflows, sewage treatment plant bypasses, agricultural runoff, faulty septic systems, and large populations of waterfowl like geese all contribute to water pollution. This in turn can lead to beaches being posted as unsafe for swimming. High levels of bacteria can persist for up to 48 hours after a heavy rainfall, and bacterial counts can also be affected by high winds or wave activity.

“We look forward to resuming our Beach Water Testing Program in the summer of 2023,” Mayer added.


Media Contacts:
Ashley Beaulac, Manager of Communication Services, HKPR District Health Unit, 1-866-888-4577 ext. 1212, or
Bernie Mayer, Manager of Environmental Health, HKPR District Health Unit, 1-866-888-4577 ext. 1243,

About the Haliburton, Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit
The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit provides important public health programs and services to residents in Northumberland County, Haliburton County, and the City of Kawartha Lakes. Our dedicated team of public health professionals, led by our Medical Officer of Health, promote healthy living, protect against disease, and prevent illness and injury. We work with health care providers and community partners to address emerging health issues, service gaps and social inequities to support residents in being well and reaching their full potential. Our values of trust, engagement, accountability, and leadership guide what we do every day. Learn more at

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