York Region Beach Water Sampling Program
York Region Health Services Department monitors water quality at York Region's public bathing beaches during the summer months to ensure that the water is safe for swimming.
For more information about the Beach Water Sampling Program or to find out if your favourite beach is safe for swimming contact York Region Health Services Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 (toll free) or visit the Region of York - Beach Water Testing web-page or Visit the Town of Georgina Beach Posting/Closure Page.
Q. Which Beaches are tested?A. In Georgina the following public beaches are tested twice a week throughout the summer months:
- Claredon Beach
- Keswick Beach (Church Street)
- Balfour Beach
- North Gwillimbury Park (Maple Leaf)
- Island Grove Wharf
- Paradise Beach
- Willow Beach
- Willow Beach Wharf
- Franklin Beach
- De La Salle Beach
- Jackson's Point Beach
- Holmes Point Beach
- Penninsula Motel Beach
- Port Bolster Beach
- Glenwoods Beach
Private Beach Associations what wish to do their own sampling can make arrangements by calling York Region Health Services through Health Connection at 1-800-361-5633.
Other Locations in York Region that are tested include:
- Township of King - Recreation Island at Seneca College
- Town of Richmond Hill - Sunset Beach
- Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville - Shadow Lake and Musselman's Lake - Cedar Beach
Q. Why are Beaches Tested?
A. Water samples are collected from each beach site twice per week during the summer months and tested for bacterial quality by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care, Laboratories Branch. High levels of bacteria can cause illness in bathers, include skin, ear, eye, nose and throat infections, as well as stomach disorders.
When the level of bacteria is high enough to cause illness, Heath Services Department staff will post a sign(s) at the beach, which reads: Warning, Unsafe for Bathing, High levels of bacteria in these waters may post a risk to your health.
Beaches will be closed when there are indications of hazardous or infectious materials present in the water, or in the event of a blue-green algae bloom. When the water is once again safe for swimming, the beach will be re-opened.
Q. What is polluting our beaches?
A. There are many factors that contribute to water pollution, including:
- seasonal and storm surface run-off into rivers and lake;
- sewer overflows;
- agricultural manure and feedlot run-off;
- malfunctioning private sewage disposal system;
- domestic pet waste run-off;
- large populations of waterfowl;
- warm water temperatures; and
- boating wastes, and other factors.
Q. How can you help?A.
- If you own a pet, please observe local "stoop and scoop" by-laws and remove all dog faeces from town streets, public parks and private property;
- If you are planning an addition to your home, contact your local building and planning department to ensure that plumbing fixtures are properly connected to municipal sanitary sewer pipes or your private sewage disposal system;
- In agricultural communities, fence livestock away from streams and provide them with alternate water sources;
- Ensure that run-off from feedlots and manure piles is properly maintained;
- upgrade and keep in good working order your private sewage disposal system;
- Do not attract animals or birds to beaches by feeding them;
- Practice pollution-free boating by disposing of human wastes hygeienically; and
- Do not go into the water if you have an infection or open wound.