Beach Water Quality in Hamilton

Toxin-producing blue-green algae (Cyanobacteria) is present in Hamilton Harbour

On August 3, 2018, Hamilton Public Health Services confirmed the presence of toxin-producing blue-green algae (Cyanobacteria) at the Bayfront Park Boat Launch, Pier 4 Park beach, Harbour West Marina, and throughout the marinas on Macassa Bay. The public should avoid contact with blue-green algae due to the potential health risks associated with it. View the full media release. Learn more about blue-green algae (PDF, 909 KB) 

 

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 the 2018 water quality test results in our Open Data Catalogue.

Find a beach for current water quality test results

To find a beach near you, enter an address into the search box.

 

Beach locations:

Swim with caution logoWhen a beach is open

  • you should swim with caution
  • there are no warning signs posted at the beach
  • levels of bacteria were within the acceptable range on the date tested

Unsafe to swim logoWhen a beach is unsafe to swim

  • E. coli levels are above acceptable levels
  • there is an increased risk of illness or infection due to poor water quality
  • warning signs are posted at the beach

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: publichealth@hamilton.ca