Island Health has closed Canal Beach to swimming and other water pursuits after high levels of bacteria were detected in the water during normal testing. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

Port Alberni beach closed due to high bacterial count

Tides make source of issues at Canal Waterfront Park difficult to determine

Island Health has closed Canal Waterfront Park on the Alberni Inlet to swimming due to high levels of bacteria detected in the water.

Monthly water testing at the Port Alberni beach showed early in July that there were unacceptable levels of enterococci in the area.

Enterococcus (plural is enterococci) is a bacteria usually found in feces. Related to streptococcus, it can cause inflammation and blood infection.

Ci Beach Sampling Report 17july2019 by Susie Quinn on Scribd

Island Health issued the beach advisory for Canal Waterfront Park (Canal Beach) on July 9, 2019. The City of Port Alberni has posted a sign on the community board at the beach advising people not to swim.

Regular water testing done on June 12 and June 26 showed numbers that were less than five parts per 100 millilitres. A test on July 9, however, showed more than 950 parts per 100 mL, prompting the advisory.

Willa Thorpe, director of Parks, Recreation and Heritage for the City of Port Alberni, said it is difficult to tell the source of the bacteria because Canal Beach is a natural salt water source.

“We’re competing with tides as well,” she said. “We do conduct regular sampling. It would be at the Canal Beach access point as opposed to other areas of the waterfront.”

The city conducts monthly water testing at the beach, with the results going to Island Health. If there is a positive test for bacteria, Island Health advises the city to step up its testing, Thorpe said.

“When there is a positive test, we test each week until there are two consecutive weeks of clean samples.”

Thorpe said she didn’t know which day of the week sampling was taking place.

Although Canal Beach is not a designated off-leash park for dog owners, many people take their dogs to run on the beach and swim in the water. Thorpe said although the beach advisory is primarily for humans “as a pet owner identifying potential concerns, I would hope people treat their pets accordingly.”

The Alberni Valley News has reached out to a local veterinarian to ask whether high levels of enterococci detected in the water will also adversely affect dogs.



susie.quinn@albernivalleynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Qualicum Bay writer Linda Tenney dies after battle with cancer

Celebration of life set for Nov. 2 at Lighthouse Community Centre

Parksville Qualicum Beach legions set to launch Poppy Campaign

Annual fundraiser to run from Oct. 25 to Nov. 11

Bear sightings up significantly in Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Fruit trees number one food attractant, says conservation officer

Parksville Qualicum Beach crime report: Thieves pilfer laptops, tools, big-screen TV, cash and more

Oceanside RCMP received 256 complaints between Sept. 29 and Oct. 5.

Pole-climbing thieves pilfering wire in Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Repairs are costly and thefts jeopardize public safety

Alberta man pleads guilty, fined for hunting without a licence in North Island

It’s the responsibility of each hunter or angler to know whether they are considered a B.C. Resident.

B.C. mayor apologizes for removal of Queen’s portrait from council chambers

‘I prefer to be inclusive of the many aspects of our history’

Environment Canada issues gale warnings for western Vancouver Island

Gale warnings in effect for most of Vancouver Island and west coast Mainland

Report suggests new BC Ferries terminal near YVR

Metro Vancouver currently has two ferry terminals at northern and southern reaches

B.C. woman must pay $1,000 after unleashed dog bites another

Owner should never have left Bibi unattended, tribunal member wrote

Climate activist Greta Thunberg’s mural defaced in Edmonton

The eyes on the portrait were blacked out

Rare bird spotted in Victoria draws enthusiasts from across the continent

It’s the first time a yellow-browed warbler has been reported on the mainland of North America

Alcohol a possible factor in crash that killed 17-year-old girl near Williams Lake

A pickup truck left the road and rolled over on Highway 20 on the weekend

Most Read