(File photo courtesy of © CanStockPhoto.com/thelatin10)(File photo courtesy of © CanStockPhoto.com/thelatin10)

Labour Day holiday weekend beach warnings in Windsor region

One local beach continues to be closed this week and swimming is not recommended at five others.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit warns that Seacliff Beach, Mettawas Beach, Colchester Beach, Cedar Beach and Cedar Island Beach all have high levels of E. coli bacteria and are unsafe for swimming. E. coli counts are between 271 at Seacliff and 811 at Colchester.

Holiday Beach in Amherstburg remains closed because erosion from high water levels on Lake Erie has made it unsafe.

Warnings are posted when the water samples have E. coli levels that are greater than 200 per 100 millilitres of water and are shut down when the E. coli count is 1,000 per 100 millilitres of water or higher. People can get sick from water with high levels of E. coli. The most common illnesses are stomach and intestinal illnesses such as vomiting and diarrhea, along with lung, eye, ear, nose, or throat infections or skin issues. Swallowing contaminated water is the main way people may get sick.

Health officials have started conducting beach water quality monitoring at all nine public beaches at least once a week. The testing runs from June to September to make sure the E. coli counts in the water are below provincial standards. Beach sampling will take place every Monday and if the beach is closed due to high E. coli levels, it will be resampled on Thursday of the same week. Beach water quality results are released every Wednesday during the summer.

The health unit does not recommend swimming after a heavy rainfall even if the beach is open for swimming.

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