High E. coli levels close 3 Metro Vancouver beaches to swimmers

·1 min read
Caution tape and signs telling swimmers to stay out didn't dissuade some people from venturing into the E. coli contaminated water Friday. (Kiran Singh/CBC - image credit)
Caution tape and signs telling swimmers to stay out didn't dissuade some people from venturing into the E. coli contaminated water Friday. (Kiran Singh/CBC - image credit)

Three Metro Vancouver beaches have been closed to swimmers after high E. coli levels were detected in the water.

English Bay Beach, Snug Cove Beach on Bowen Island and Oasis Beach just south of UBC's Wreck Beach have been closed to swimmers until further notice.

"Vancouver Coastal Health provides daily water quality reports and today's sample counts exceed the safe level for swimming," according to a Tweet from Vancouver Park Board.

The health authority says repeat samples exceeded the 400 E. coli levels per 100 millimetres of water threshold.

E. coli, or Escherichia coli bacteria, normally live in the intestines of healthy people and animals, but certain strains can cause illness in people.

Seniors, children and people with weakened immune systems are most susceptible.

Metro Vancouver's beaches are frequently closed due to E. coli in the summer. Vancouver Coastal Health has said leaking septic tanks and discharge from boats and storm water runoff after heavy rains are the lead contributors.

The risk of getting sick is higher if you swallow contaminated water or get water in the nose, eyes, ears or an open wound.

Kiran Singh/CBC
Kiran Singh/CBC
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