Beach Water Quality Results

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 19 and August 29, 2021 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 2 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 noon to 7pm 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 - August 3, 2021
Beach NameE. coli CountSwimming Status
Britannia Beach

29

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Swim

Westboro Beach

96

 

Swim icon

Swim

Mooney's Bay 11  

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Swim

Petrie Island East Bay 179

Swim icon

 

Swim

Petrie Island River Beaches 42

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Swim

 

Previous results for 2021

Date Britannia Westboro Beach Mooney's Bay Petrie Island East Bay Petrie Island River Beaches 

August 2, 2021

24(Swim)

30(Swim) 22(Swim) 53(Swim) 39(Swim)

August 1, 2021

80(Swim)

77(Swim) 349(Swimming not recommended) 103(Swim) 40(Swim)

July 31, 2021

624(Swimming not recommended)

69(Swim) 19(Swim) 121(Swim) 70(Swim)

July 30, 2021

68(Swim)

41(Swim) 25(Swim) 121(Swim) 57(Swim)

July 29, 2021

21(Swim)

65(Swim) 34(Swim) 219(Swimming not recommended) 73(Swim)

July 28, 2021

79(Swim)

196(Swim) 263(Swimming not recommended) 338(Swimming not recommended) 52(Swim)

July 27, 2021

119(Swim)

432(Swimming not recommended) 16(Swim) 272(Swimming not recommended) 92(Swim)

July 26, 2021

22(Swim) 

966(Swimming not recommended) 36(Swim)  39(Swim)  135(Swim) 

July 25, 2021

30(Swim)

72(Swim) 19(Swim)  50(Swim) 22(Swim) 

July 24, 2021

56(Swim)

854(Swimming not recommended) 11(Swim) 64(Swim) 53(Swim)

July 23, 2021

76(Swim)

414(Swimming not recommended) 21(Swim) 249(Swimming not recommended) 107(Swim)

July 22, 2021

106(Swim)

956(Swimming not recommended) 168(Swim) 818(Swimming not recommended) 566(Swimming not recommended)

July 21, 2021

341(Swimming not recommended)

1000(Swimming not recommended) 43(Swimming not recommended (rainfall)) 234(Swimming not recommended) 82(Swimming not recommended (rainfall))

July 20, 2021

20(Swim)

482(Swimming not recommended)  113(Swim)  410(Swimming not recommended)  74(Swim) 

July 19, 2021

30(Swim)

145(Swim) 22(Swim) 395(Swimming not recommended) 93(Swim)

July 18, 2021

99(Swim)

868(Swimming not recommended) 25(Swim) 684(Swimming not recommended) 42(Swim)

July 17, 2021

60(Swim)

65(Swim) 71(Swim) 102(Swim) 34(Swim)

July 16, 2021

16(Swim)

154(Swim) 55(Swim) 105(Swim) 80(Swim)

July 15, 2021

35(Swim)

931(Swimming not recommended) 84(Swim) 219(Swimming not recommended) 108(Swim)

July 14, 2021

11(Swim)

43(Swim) 24(Swim) 952(Swimming not recommended) 133(Swim)

July 13, 2021

18(Swim)

110(Swim) 40(Swim) 370(Swimming not recommended) 108(Swim)

July 12, 2021

14(Swim)

27(Swim) 24(Swim) 123(Swim) 68(Swim)

July 11, 2021

26(Swim)

26(Swim) 25(Swim) 139(Swim) 173(Swim)

July 10, 2021

39(Swim)

184(Swim) 98(Swim) 434 (Swimming not recommended) 144(Swim)

July 9, 2021

34

(Swimming not recommended 

(rainfall))

30

(Swimming not recommended 

(rainfall))

27

(Swimming not recommended 

(rainfall))

1000

(Swimming not recommended 

(rainfall))

45

(Swimming not recommended 

(rainfall))

July 8, 2021

52(Swim)

53(Swim) 10(Swim) 25(Swim) 63(Swim)

July 7, 2021

36(Swim)

535 (Swimming not recommended) 30(Swim) 180(Swim) 157(Swim)

July 6, 2021

12(Swim)

19(Swim) 23(Swim) 31(Swim) 47(Swim)

July 5, 2021

14(Swim)

11(Swim) 19(Swim) 131(Swim) 49(Swim)

July 4, 2021

11(Swim)

15(Swim) 11(Swim) 40(Swim) 46(Swim)

July 3, 2021

23(Swim)

41(Swim) 17(Swim) 286(Swimming not recommended) 118(Swim)

July 2, 2021

99(Swim)

16(Swim) 18(Swim) 19(Swim) 63(Swim)

July 1, 2021

119(Swim)

208(Swimming not recommended) 45(Swim) 91(Swim) 59(Swim)

June 30, 2021

56(Swim)

118(Swim) 20(Swim) 42(Swim) 39(Swim)

June 29, 2021

152(Swim)

82(Swim) 37(Swim) 95(Swim) 156(Swim)

June 28, 2021

24(Swim)

189(Swim) 72(Swim) 26(Swim) 112(Swim)

June 27, 2021

16(Swim)

10(Swim) 22(Swim) 15(Swim) 37(Swim)

June 26, 2021

10 

(Swimming not recommended 

(rainfall)) 

19 

(Swimming not recommended 

(rainfall))

16 

(Swimming not recommended 

(rainfall)) 

13 

(Swimming not recommended 

(rainfall))

29 

(Swimming not recommended 

(rainfall)) 

June 25, 2021

10(Swim) 10(Swim) 15(Swim) 11(Swim) 32(Swim)

June 24, 2021

12(Swim) 14(Swim) 11(Swim) 11(Swim) 44(Swim)

June 23, 2021

31(Swim) 43(Swim) 48(Swim) 14(Swim) 65(Swim)

June 22, 2021

119(Swim) 29(Swim) 14(Swim) 31(Swim) 51(Swim)

June 21, 2021

16(Swim) 25(Swim) 15(Swim) 20(Swim) 90(Swim)

June 20, 2021

44(Swim) 55(Swim) 24(Swim) 15(Swim) 61(Swim)

June 19, 2021

 79(Swim) 10(Swim)  12(Swim) 14(Swim) 23(Swim) 

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

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