Water safety report – Region changes the way it measures and reports for Burlington Beachway.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  July 13, 2012

The Halton Region Health Department monitors the water quality at public beaches throughout Halton.

Hundreds of families used Beachway Park on Canada Day – they had no way of knowing if the water their children were swimming in was safe to use. That weekend the water to the left of an imaginary line was safe, the water to the right wasn’t. There was no signage telling the public about water conditions.

Beach water monitoring on July 10 revealed the following beaches are safe for swimming:

Milton – Kelso Conservation Area

Halton Hills – Prospect Park Old Beach

Oakville – Coronation Park East

The following beaches are unsafe for swimming:

• Burlington – Beachway Park

• Oakville – Coronation Park West, Bronte Park Beach

Burlington Beachway Park North and Burlington Beachway Park South have been combined and will be reported as one beach: “Burlington Beachway Park”. Samples and monitoring will be done along the entire length of the beach and an average of all the bacteria samples will determine whether the beach is considered safe or unsafe.

Up until this change the Region had chosen an arbitrary line in the lake and called one part Beachway South and the other Beachway North.

Up until very recently this imaginary boundary in the lake defined parts of the lake that were safe or unsafe for swimming. That boundary has been discarded. Now all the Region needs is signs along the Beachway Park to tell the public if the water is safe or unsafe.

Some confusion was created over figuring out how the water on one side of a line could be safe while water on the other side the water wasn’t safe.

The Region solved that problem by removing the imaginary line and telling us that all the water is unsafe.

Now, all they have to do is post signs along the Beachway Park so those who don’t read Our Burlington, maybe don’t even know about us yet, can know if the water they swim in is safe.

On Canada Day there were hundreds of families in water the Region described as unsafe.

The Regional Municipality of Halton serves more than 500,000 residents in the City of Burlington, the Town of Halton Hills, the Town of Milton, and the Town of Oakville. Halton Region is committed to meeting the needs of its residents through the delivery of cost-effective, quality programs and services, including water and wastewater; Regional roads and planning; emergency medical services; waste management; public health; social assistance/Ontario Works; children’s and seniors’ services; social/non-profit housing; heritage programs; emergency management and economic development.

Effective signage, in more than one language would be an effective way to communicate public safety.

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1 comment to Water safety report – Region changes the way it measures and reports for Burlington Beachway.

  • margaret lindsay holton

    Flags would be cheaper, no? ~ managed by community residents who receive timely updates/ notification from Halton. Just a thought.