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A summer of high bacteria ‘no-swim’ advisories rolls across the Maritimes

A summer of “no-swim” advisories continues to roll across the Maritimes, with high bacteria test results persistent at certain beaches.

On Thursday evening, four of 10 provincial park beaches in New Brunswick were classified as ‘unsuitable for swimming’ including: Parlee Beach, Murray Beach, Miscou, and the campground section of Mactaquac Provincial Park.

New River Beach, Oak Bay and Val-Comeau had been labeled ‘unsuitable for swimming’ earlier, but had changed to ‘suitable for swimming’ by the end of Thursday.

In the Halifax Regional Municipality, three of 19 supervised beaches were closed earlier this week due to high bacteria levels, including: Albro Lake, Penhorn Beach, and Birch Cove.

As of late Thursday, all beaches tested and supervised by the Nova Scotia Lifeguard Service were open for swimming.

Paul D’Eon of the Nova Scotia Lifeguard Service said the summer so far had been above average for “no-swim” advisories issued, with a half dozen compared to two or three in a typical season. D’Eon said it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of each bacteria spike, but added “we’ve had lots of rainfall and lots of runoff.”

Certain beaches have seen repeated “no-swim” advisories this summer, including New Brunswick’s Parlee Beach (tested daily). According to New Brunswick’s Department of Health, it takes about a day for water quality results to come back and be reported.

Earlier this month, the Shediac Bay Watershed Association told CTV a wet summer and the heavy rains had been a factor in water quality results.


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