Yarmouth warden says bacterial testing of local beaches may occur in future
Residents encouraged to talk to councillors about concerns regarding their beach
Water at Port Maitland and Mavillette beaches is now safe to swim in after a month of being deemed unsafe because of high bacteria counts, but what about the level at untested beaches?
The Nova Scotia Lifeguard Service (NSLS) closed five salt water beaches in the province earlier this summer because of high bacteria counts. Three of them reopened (Heather Beach, Queensland Beach, Port Hood), but Port Maitland and Mavillette, the only beaches regularly tested by the NSLS, remained closed for weeks longer.
The matter of testing unsupervised beaches hasn’t been discussed by the Municipality of Yarmouth council before, says Warden Leland Anthony.
“It might be something that the municipality could do just to have peace of mind,” said Anthony. “I don’t think the cost (of testing) is out of line.”
He suggested residents who are concerned about possible high levels of bacteria in the water at their local beaches contact their local councillor to request regular testing.
Bruce Nunn, media relations advisor with the environment department, gave the same advice.
He says each summer the province tests water samples at all 20 beaches that are managed by the province and monitored by lifeguards from the Nova Scotia Lifesaving Society.
“Any municipality, community group, property owner, or concerned beach user can get water samples from other beaches tested by consulting with an accredited lab,” Nunn said.
John’s Cove Beach is one of the more popular beaches in the region that is not tested for bacteria levels. Port Maitland and Mavillette beaches are tested regularly for high bacteria levels by the province during the summer.