Along with the Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit, the Town of Cobourg is urging caution around the stagnant pools of water accumulating in and around the town's beach and waterfront.
The town's press release notes high water levels on Lake Ontario that result in excess water pooling on top of the sand at the beach. The health unit warns that Escherichia coli (E. coli) and other harmful bacteria can develop in stagnant water, and urges users of the beach not to sit or swim in these pools to avoid contracting illness.
Pet owners are also advised not to let their pets swim or drink from this water, as it can be dangerous to animals as well.
“We strongly advise people not to swim in the stagnant pools of water as they ae more susceptible to having high bacteria counts that can cause someone to become ill,” health unit environmental-health manager Bernie Mayer said in the news release.
“Parents in particular should keep children away from any stagnant water.”
The health unit's weekly beach-testing program begins this month, and will continue until the end of August. Unsafe beaches will be posted on-line when bacteria counts are above provincial standards – at which point there is a greater chance of people using the water to contract eye, ear, nose or throat infections, or possibly stomach cramps and diarrhea.
Citizens are asked to visit the heath unit's website (www.hkpr.on.ca) to ensure the beach they are visiting is safe for swimming.
Mayer said the weekly beach-water test results ae updated on the website every Thursday afternoon, as well as on their Facebook and Twitter page – or people can speak to a public-health inspector by calling 1-866-888-4577 ext. 5006.
“This season, people can watch for new metal signs being placed at local beaches,” he said.
“Besides being more durable, these signs are also more visible for people to see whether a beach is safe for swimming.”