Parks, Trails and Beaches

Beach Water Quality in Hamilton

Beach water quality monitoring has ended for 2019

Beach water quality monitoring has ended for the 2019 season, and will resume in 2020.


Western shoreline of Hamilton Harbour confirmed to have blue-green algae (Cyanobacteria)

On July 10, 2019, Public Health Services has confirmed the presence of toxin-producing blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) at the Bayfront Park Boat Launch, Pier 4, Harbour West Marina, and throughout the marinas on Macassa Bay.  View the full media release

The public should avoid contact with blue-green algae due to the potential health risks associated with it. Do not swim or wade in any areas where blue-green algae is visible. Learn more about blue-green algae


Hamilton Public Health Services monitors the recreational water quality at public beaches each year for levels of E. coli bacteria and Blue-Green Algae (cyanobacteria). 

Public Health Services monitors beaches annually from the beginning of June until the end of August.

Beach water quality testing

Public Health services monitors beaches in accordance with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s Operational Approaches for Recreational Water Guideline 2018 and the Recreational Water Protocol 2018 under the Ontario Public Health Standards. As outlined in the above protocols, beach samples are collected and tested for E. coli bacteria at least once per week during the swimming season.

Beach sampling results cannot be guaranteed accurate as conditions can change quickly depending on the weather. You should not swim at the beach during and after storms, floods or heavy rainfall. Cloudy water may indicate high levels of bacteria.

For more information on ways to stay safe at the beach, visit the Canadian Red Cross’s website

To report safety hazards at the beach please call 905-546-2489.

Beach water quality test results

High numbers of E. coli in the water at public beaches indicates contamination with feces and the potential presence of other harmful microorganisms in the water. The provincial standard is 200 E. coli bacteria cells per 100 ml of water or 200 colony forming units per 100 ml.  

E. coli concentrations at or above the standard could cause an increased risk of infection. Swimming in these waters could cause infections in ears, eyes, nose, throat and skin as well as cause diarrhea if the water is ingested.

View water quality test results in our Open Data Catalogue.

Beach locations

Beach monitoring reports

Hamilton Public Health Services (PHS) provide an annual update report regarding recreational water quality monitoring at Hamilton’s public beaches and the activities undertaken by stakeholders to improve the water quality at these beaches.

Contact us

For more information, contact:
Phone the Safe Water Hotline: 905-546-2189
Email: [email protected]