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 27 and August 30, 2020 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 2 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 are closed for the season
Beach NameE. coli LevelSwimming Condition
Westboro Beach

 

   
Mooney's Bay      
Petrie Island East Bay      
Petrie Island River Beaches      

 

Previous results for 2020

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

 

August 30 2020

 

101 (Swim) 702 (Swimming not recommended) 1000 (Swimming not recommended) 74 (Swimming not recommended (rainfall))

 

August 29 2020

 

180 (Swim) 40 (Swim) 562 (Swimming not recommended) 85 (Swim)

 

August 28 2020

 

36 (Swim) 70 (Swim) 657 (Swimming not recommended) 75 (Swim)

 

August 27 2020

 

37 (Swim) 20 (Swim) 218 (Swimming not recommended) 56 (Swim)

 

August 26 2020

 

152 (Swim) 161 (Swim) 737 (Swimming not recommended) 245 (Swimming not recommended)

 

August 25 2020

 

1000 (Swimming not recommended) 77 (Swim) 307 (Swimming not recommended) 219 (Swimming not recommended)

 

August 24 2020

 

 751 (Swimming not recommended)  212 (Swimming not recommended)  467 (Swimming not recommended)  24 (Swimming not recommended (rainfall))

 

August 23 2020

 

241 (Swimming not recommended) 85 (Swim) 258 (Swimming not recommended) 32 (Swim)

 

August 22 2020

 

33 (Swim) 17 (Swim) 867 (Swimming not recommended) 51 (Swim)

 

August 21 2020

 

223 (Swimming not recommended) 43 (Swim) 675 (Swimming not recommended) 53 (Swim)

 

August 20 2020

 

121 (Swim) 26 (Swim) 870 (Swimming not recommended) 75 (Swim)

 

August 19 2020

 

111 (Swim)  62 (Swim) 679 (Swimming not recommended)  259 (Swimming not recommended) 

 

August 18 2020

 

94 (Swimming not recommended (rainfall)) 498 (Swimming not recommended) 772 (Swimming not recommended) 233 (Swimming not recommended)

 

August 17 2020

 

116 (Swimming not recommended (rainfall)) 108 (Swimming not recommended (rainfall)) 242 (Swimming not recommended) 67 (Swimming not recommended (rainfall))

 

August 16 2020

 

 150 (Swim) 39 (Swim)  118 (Swim)  44 (Swim) 

 

August 15 2020

 

161 (Swim) 23 (Swim) 554 (Swimming not recommended) 94 (Swim)

 

August 14 2020

 

112 (Swim) 42 (Swim) 340 (Swimming not recommended) 52 (Swim)

 

August 13 2020

 

166 (Swim) 23 (Swim) 323 (Swimming not recommended) 145 (Swim)

 

August 12 2020

 

179 (Swim) 37 (Swim) 156 (Swim) 118 (Swim)

 

August 11 2020

 

12 (Swim) 33 (Swim) 46 (Swim) 84 (Swim)

 

August 10 2020

 

116 (Swim) 12 (Swim) 134 (Swim) 46 (Swim)

 

August 9 2020

 

154 (Swim) 18 (Swim) 908 (Swimming not recommended) 59 (Swim)

 

August 8 2020

 

19 (Swim) 23 (Swim) 463 (Swimming not recommended) 66 (Swim)

 

August 7 2020

 

87 (Swim) 35 (Swim) 374 (Swimming not recommended) 97 (Swim)

 

August 6 2020

 

276 (Swimming not recommended) 209 (Swimming not recommended) 178 (Swim) 287 (Swimming not recommended)

 

August 5 2020

 

26 (Swimming not recommended (rainfall)) 74 (Swim) 1000 (Swimming not recommended) 214 (Swimming not recommended)

 

August 4 2020

 

203 (Swimming not recommended) 39 (Swim) 262 (Swimming not recommended) 261 (Swimming not recommended)

 

August 3 2020

 

272 (Swimming not recommended) 37 (Swimming not recommended (rainfall)) 294 (Swimming not recommended) 65 (Swimming not recommended (rainfall))

 

August 2 2020

 

39 (Swim) 11 (Swim) 98 (Swim) 40 (Swim)

 

August 1 2020

 

67 (Swim) 16 (Swim) 100 (Swim) 84 (Swim)

 

July 31 2020

 

96 (Swimming not recommended (rainfall)) 37 (Swim) 349 (Swimming not recommended) 73 (Swim)

 

July 30 2020

 

24 (Swim) 11 (Swimming not recommended (rainfall)) 66 (Swim) 55 (Swim)

 

July 29 2020

 

155 (Swim) 16 (Swim) 299 (Swimming not recommended) 57 (Swim)

 

July 28 2020

 

89 (Swim) 32 (Swim) 415 (Swimming not recommended) 68 (Swim)

 

July 27 2020

 

161 (Swim) 32 (Swim) 109 (Swim) 51 (Swim)

 

July 26 2020

 

70 (Swim) 13 (Swim) 145 (Swim) 65 (Swim)

 

July 25 2020

 

43 (Swim) 32 (Swim) 244 (Swimming not recommended) 106 (Swim)

 

July 24 2020

 

64 (Swim) 37 (Swim) 436 (Swimming not recommended) 86 (Swim)

 

July 23 2020

 

41 (Swim) 16 (Swim) 550 (Swimming not recommended) 44 (Swim)

 

July 22 2020

 

 141 (Swim)  44 (Swim)  125 (Swim) 74 (Swim) 

 

July 21 2020

 

108 (Swim)

71 (Swim) 301 (Swimming not recommended) 65 (Swim)

 

July 20 2020

 

186 (Swim)

715 (Swimming not recommended) 98 (Swim) 71 (Swim)

 

July 19 2020

 

147 (Swimming not recommended (rainfall))

21 (Swimming not recommended (rainfall)) 87 (Swimming not recommended (rainfall)) 110 (Swimming not recommended (rainfall))

 

July 18 2020

 

20 (Swim)

117 (Swim) 399 (Swimming not recommended) 161 (Swim)

 

July 17 2020

 

73 (Swim)

10 (Swim) 65 (Swimming not recommended (rainfall)) 158 (Swimming not recommended (rainfall))

 

July 16 2020

 

78 (Swim)

28 (Swim) 348 (Swimming not recommended) 73 (Swim)

 

July 15 2020

 

108 (Swim)

26 (Swim) 74 (Swim) 36 (Swim)

 

July 14 2020

 

78 (Swim)

20 (Swim) 230 (Swimming not recommended) 109 (Swim)

July 13 2020

 

450 (Swimming not recommended)

 

26 (Swim) 23 (Swim) 122 (Swim)

 

July 12 2020

 

198 (Swim) 12 (Swim) 54 (Swim) 67 (Swim)

 

July 11 2020

 

72 (Swim) 19 (Swim) 76 (Swim) 72 (Swim)

 

July 10 2020

 

148 (Swim) 19 (Swim) 263 (Swimming not recommended) 114 (Swim)

 

July 9

2020

 

378 (Swimming not recommended) 16 (Swim) 24 (Swim) 34 (Swim)

 

July 8 2020

 

48 (Swim)    11 (Swim)  25 (Swim)    37 (Swim) 

 

July 7 2020

 

 238 (Swimming not recommended)  15 (Swim)   16 (Swim) 32 (Swim) 

 

July 6 2020

 

40 (Swim)  57 (Swim)   19 (Swim) 48 (Swim) 

 

July 5 2020

 

138 (Swim) 23 (Swim) 28 (Swim) 99 (Swim)

 

July 4 2020

 

53 (Swim) 14 (Swim) 20 (Swim) 33 (Swim)

 

July 3 2020

 

485 (Swimming not recommended) 29 (Swim) 43 (Swim) 27 (Swim)

 

July 2 2020

 

20 (Swim) 32 (Swim) 19 (Swim) 39 (Swim)

 

July 1 2020

 

51 (Swim)  127 (Swim)   53 (Swim) 99 (Swim) 

 

June 30 2020

 

44 (Swim)

111 (Swim)

22 (Swim)

63 (Swim)

 

June 29 2020

 

22 (Swim)

582 (Swimming not recommended)

37 (Swim)

38 (Swim)

 

June 28 2020

 

24 (Swim)

22 (Swim)

22 (Swim)

59 (Swim)

June 27 2020 

19 (Swim) 

 

 28 (Swim)

 

31 (Swim) 

50 (Swim) 

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

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