Beach Water Quality
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 end of May until the end of August.
The Public Health Services beach water sampling program for the 2023 swimming season has ended.
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.
Beach Status Signs
Public Health Services has upgraded signage at all public beaches. These new signs will help inform community members & visitors in between public health’s routine beach water sampling, of the different conditions that could create potential unsafe water quality conditions.
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.
Find beach water quality results
When 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
When 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