SOUTH WEST NOVA SCOTIA - Port Maitland Beach in Yarmouth County and Mavillette Beach in Digby County are closed to swimmers for at least several days until water testing results show that water is safe for swimming.
Nova Scotia Lifeguard Service Office (NSLS) director Paul D'Eon, says the office is in the process of resampling.
“When we get results from that test we will be able to determine if the beach will reopen,” he said.
“It may possibly reopen on Friday or Monday.”
On Aug. 13 NSLS announced that both beaches were closed because bacteria (enterococci, a bacteria found in mammal fecal matter) exceeded permissible levels.
This is the fifth salt water beach that NSLS has closed because of high bacteria counts.
“We’ve closed Heather Beach, Queensland Beach, Port Hood, Port Maitland and and Mavilette,” said D’Eon.
The NSLS only tests beaches supervised by lifeguards. The organization has only been testing since 2010 and D’Eon says it’s rare for a beach to be closed.
Weather conditions, rainfall, tidal action and other factors can influence water quality.
The higher the water temperature, the faster the growth of bacteria.
People are informed that they should not be swimming at closed beaches however there is no enforcement.
The danger lies in ingesting the water or open sores. Waders are typically fine, says D’Eon.
“We’re mostly concerned about young children because they tend to ingest water when they go in. It could result in diarrhea and vomiting.”
The Nova Scotia Lifeguard Service provides supervision and bacteriological water sampling for more than 20 beaches across the province. The Environmental Health Division assists with the interpretation of sample results and takes action with the Regional Medical Officer of Health to ensure swimmers are protected from water that has bacteria levels higher than those indicated in the Canadian Guidelines for Recreational Water Quality.
For updates on a beach status:
Call 902-477-6168 or check this website