Con­stant high wa­ter lev­els keep Burling­ton’s beaches closed

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL -

Burling­ton City of­fi­cials say con­tin­ued high lake wa­ter lev­els is mak­ing it dif­fi­cult to gauge when lo­cal beaches can be re­opened to the pub­lic.

“Once we can re­sume rou­tine main­te­nance of the beach and bar­ring any is­sues we may find, the plan is to open the beach to the pub­lic. At this time, we’re un­able to fore­cast a time­line as to when the beach will be opened,” said Mur­ray Cameron, man­ager of parks op­er­a­tions at the city.

“Ear­lier this year, Lake On­tario ex­pe­ri­enced its high­est wa­ter lev­els in a cen­tury, ac­cord­ing to me­te­o­rol­o­gists,” he con­tin­ued.

“The city is closely mon­i­tor­ing the wa­ter level at the beach­way and will re­sume beach main­te­nance as soon as beach con­di­tions per­mit.”

On the Hamil­ton side of the lake­front, the city web­site lists Con­fed­er­a­tion Park, Van Wagner’s and Beach Boule­vard beaches as open — but new test re­sults haven’t been posted since Aug. 1.

Both har­bour beaches re­main closed, but all Hamil­ton-area con­ser­va­tion area beaches are posted as safe other than Valen’s Lake.

In Burling­ton, city staffers are wait­ing for the wa­ter to re­cede so the beach can be groomed and cleanup can be com­pleted be­fore open­ing it back up to the pub­lic.

In May, the city an­nounced the beach­way’s clo­sure be­cause of high wa­ter lev­els and the ero­sion of the sand at the shore.

“The city is not able to groom the beach as nor­mal, as there is in­suf­fi­cient room to op­er­ate the groom­ing equip­ment,” added Cameron.

“The city is also look­ing at ad­dress­ing ex­posed tree and shrub roots as a re­sult of the ero­sion.”

While the beaches re­main closed, the city rec­om­mends Burling­ton res­i­dents visit its pools and spray pads as spots to cool off dur­ing the sum­mer.

For a list of lo­ca­tions, visit www.burling­ton.ca/swim­ming.

Hal­ton Re­gion will re­sume its wa­ter qual­ity test­ing at the beach­way and Spencer Smith Park when the beaches re­open. More in­for­ma­tion is avail­able at www.hal­ton.ca/ beach.

City of­fi­cials said it is dif­fi­cult to re­call a time in Burling­ton’s his­tory when its beaches re­mained closed for a lengthy amount of time due to high wa­ter lev­els and flood­ing (sim­i­larly to this year) or con­tam­i­na­tion-re­lated is­sues, such as E. coli, be­cause it does not keep a record of the du­ra­tion of clo­sure days.

GRA­HAM PAINE/METROLAND, GRA­HAM PAINE/METROLAND

High lake wa­ter lev­els and closed beaches in Burling­ton are re­sult­ing in in­creas­ing num­bers of chil­dren and their par­ents turn­ing to cool wa­ter jets at lo­cal splash pads.

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