HALIBURTON, ON – The health unit wants to make sure swimming is safe in the district.

With summer officially underway, the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit is relaunching its annually run program to test the waters at all 45 public beaches in their jurisdiction.

HKPR says that each week, the results of their tests will be posted by late Thursday or early Friday. These tests check the amount of E. Coli in the water to make sure that it is safe for people to swim

“Before going to the beach, people should check to see if local beaches are safe for swimming,” says Bernie Mayer, Manager of Environmental Health with HKPR. “In certain circumstances, beaches can provide more than just fun and recreation. A higher bacteria count in the water can increase the risk of getting eye, ear, nose or throat infections, or make people sick leading to stomach cramps and diarrhea.”

To check the status of the beaches, HKPR says they are going to post the results to their website, Twitter and Facebook. Aside from that, the health unit says they will be posting signs at the beaches if there is an issue with high E. Coli in the water.

According to HKPR, If you don’t notice the sign or the online posts, you can always look Algae, floating debris, oil, discoloured water, bad odours and excessive weed growth are other potential signs that the beach may be unsafe for swimming. Prolonged hot weather can promote the growth of bacteria in the water, as can the actual water temperature. For example, shallow beaches tend to have warmer water and a higher potential for bacterial growth.

“If you have doubts about water safety,” says Mayer, “avoid the beach and try again when conditions improve.”