Saanich residents looking for a spot to swim or try out their paddleboarding skills have been asked to avoid Cadboro Bay due to high levels of bacteria in the water.
On July 9, Island Health implemented a swim advisory for the saltwater beach after water samples showed elevated levels of Enterococci – a bacteria that, according to the health authority’s website, can cause ear, nose and throat infections as well as gastrointestinal illnesses in those who come into contact with the water.
— Saanich Parks, Recreation & Community Services (@SaanichParksRec) July 11, 2020
Water sampling at Cadboro Bay beach began at the end of May and results have shown varying levels of bacteria since then.
According to the health authority’s website, water samples are taken from beaches all over Vancouver Island to assess the fecal contamination in the area – saltwater is sampled for Enterococci and freshwater is tested for E. coli. Swim advisories are implemented when a single water sample result shows more than 70 Enterococci or 400 E. coli.
Island Health warns against water activities and swimming at beaches where advisories have been posted, though public beaches with swim advisories remain open.
Advisories are also in place at Craigflower-Kosapsum Park, Esquimalt Gorge Park and Kinsmen Park beach due to high levels of bacteria and at Prior Lake in View Royal due to Blue Green Algae.