Beach Water Quality Results

Westboro beach will be closed for the 2022 season due to a redevelopment project being led by the National Capital Commission.

Beach Water Quality Testing at the City of Ottawa Supervised Beaches

Water samples will be collected daily from City of Ottawa supervised beaches between June 18 and August 28, 2022 and tested for the presence of E. coli bacteria. When elevated levels of E. coli are detected in the water, it is more likely that other disease-causing organisms are also present. These organisms can result in skin, ear, throat or gastro-intestinal illnesses. 

Beaches and COVID-19 Transmission

Swimming at the City of Ottawa public beaches is not considered to be an important risk for transmission of COVID-19.  Water is not a favoured route of transmission for the virus that causes COVID-19. This virus preferentially transmits short distances (up to two metres) through the air by respiratory droplets from an infected person (from coughing, sneezing, shouting, singing, talking, breathing), by direct  contact with an infected person or by contact with a surface that an infected person has touched (and now, contaminated fingers bringing the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth).

To minimize transmission of COVID-19 when at a public beach or park:

  • Practice physical distancing from others in changerooms, washrooms and wear a mask for added protection in areas you cannot maintain at least two metres from others not in your group. 
  • When in the water, on the shorelines and enjoying the park and picnic areas, practice physical distancing. While the risk of transmission of COVID-19 is much less outdoors than indoors, when there is significant crowding, as there could be at a pool or beach, there is greater concern about spread.
  • Physical distancing, wearing face masks, staying home when sick, and practicing good hand hygiene remain the best way to prevent the spread of the virus. 

Beach water test results 

Water test results are not available immediately as they take at least 18 hours to process in the laboratory. For this reason, swim advisories are issued based on water sample results from the previous day, as well as our knowledge of water quality at each beach in previous years and how they react to factors such as rainfall and bird activity. Ottawa Public Health will not recommend swimming at beaches if: 

  • the geometric mean of 5 water samples taken on the previous day is greater than 200 E. coli per 100mL of water (Ontario water quality standard for beach water quality);
  • there is a significant rainfall event; or
  • we are aware of a situation that could impact the water quality at a beach.

For information on the City of Ottawa Beaches visit the City of Ottawa website.

For more information on the Beach Water Quality Monitoring Program, call Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744 and ask to speak with a Public Health Inspector.

Swim icon Swim

Red caution symbolSwimming not recommended

  • Swim in the supervised area. Lifeguards are on duty from 11 am to 7 pm every day during the supervised swimming season.
  • Avoid going into water with an open wound.
  • Don't swallow the water or take it in your mouth. It is best to keep your head out of the water.
  • Shower as soon as possible after swimming and dry ears thoroughly with a towel. 
  • Wash hands carefully with soap and treated water or use alcohol-based hand rub after playing in the sand, and before preparing foods or eating.
  • As a precaution, take children to the toilet before entering the water. 

If you choose to wade into the water:

  • Avoid going into water with an open wound.
  • Don't swallow the water or take it in your mouth. It is best to keep your head out of the water.
  • Shower as soon as possible after using water.
  • Wash hands carefully with soap and treated water or use alcohol-based hand rub after playing in the sand, and before preparing foods or eating.

Tips for staying safe around lakes and rivers.

Tips to stay cool during a Heat Warning 

Ottawa's supervised beaches - June 29, 2022
Beach NameE. coli CountSwimming Status
Britannia Beach

142

Swim icon Swim 

Mooney's Bay 11

Swim icon Swim

 
Petrie Island East Bay 28

Swim icon Swim

 
Petrie Island River Beaches 72

Swim icon Swim

 
Previous results for 2022
Previous results for 2022
DateBritannia BeachMooney's BayPetrie Island East BayPetrie Island River Beaches

June 28, 2022

432 (Swimming not recommended) 17 (Swim) 57 (Swim) 26 (Swim)

June 27, 2022

24 (Swim) 55 (Swim) 19 (Swim) 16 (Swim)

June 26, 2022

14 (Swim) 35 (Swim) 19 (Swim) 23 (Swim)

June 25, 2022

16 (Swim) 25 (Swim) 56 (Swim) 44 (Swim)

June 24, 2022

13 (Swim) 32 (Swim) 325 (Swimming not recommended) 87 (Swim)

June 23, 2022

97 (Swim) 66 (Swim) 48 (Swim) 155 (Swim)

June 22, 2022

17 (Swim) 47 (Swim) 78 (Swimming not recommended (Rainfall)) 13 (Swimming not recommended (Rainfall))

June 21, 2022

86 (Swim) 26 (Swim) 11 (Swim) 24 (Swim)

June 20, 2022

38 (Swim) 17 (Swim) 20 (Swim) 16 (Swim)

June 19, 2022

285 (Swimming not recommended) 20 (Swim) 11 (Swim) 26 (Swim)

June 18, 2022

98 (Swim) 56 (Swim) 20 (Swim) 36 (Swim)

The City of Ottawa Open Data keeps Beach water sampling data from previous years. 

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