Beach water quality updates are no longer available for 2013.
Public Health Services provides beach water quality updates during the bathing season (Victoria Day to Labour Day).
Blue Green Algae
** Blue green algae (known as cyanobacteria) has been found along the shoreline of western Hamilton Harbour with observations and positive tests at Bayfront and Pier 4 beaches.
Skin contact with blue-green algae contaminated water can cause skin irritation and itching. Exposure to blue-green algae toxins, if present in sufficient amounts, can cause headaches, fever, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting, skin rashes and mucous membrane irritation.
More information available here.
Public Health Services monitors the shoreline and recreational water use areas in the western end of Hamilton Harbour from May to late October in order to detect the presence of blue-green algae.
Growth of blue green algae occurs when optimal conditions are present in the Harbour (high nutrient levels, warm and calm weather). They can become visible as surface scums are blown onto the shorelines by light winds following calm weather.
Some species of cyanobacteria produce toxins that affect animals and humans. People may be exposed to cyanobacterial toxins by drinking or bathing in contaminated water. The most frequent and serious health effects are caused by drinking water containing the toxins (cyanobacteria), or by ingestion during recreational water contact.
For more information about blue green algae, please visit the following websites.
Health Canada - Blue Green Algae (Cyanobacteria) and their Toxins
World Health Organization - Water Related Diseases
Don't Feed Waterfowl!
Bay Area Restoration Council (BARC) has launched a 'Don't Feed Waterfowl' campaign to educate people on the health and environmental effects of feeding the geese and gulls along our waterfront.
You can help improve our waterfront by not feeding the geese, gulls and ducks. Visit BARC for more information.
Last updated: September 30, 2013