Yar­mouth war­den says bac­te­rial test­ing of lo­cal beaches may oc­cur in fu­ture

Res­i­dents en­cour­aged to talk to coun­cil­lors about concerns re­gard­ing their beach

Tri-County Vanguard - - NEWS - CARLA ALLEN THEVANGUARD.CA

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.

CARLA ALLEN

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.

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