Beach water

Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) monitors all public beaches in Perth and Huron counties by testing the water for unsafe bacteria.

Water conditions can change daily and even hourly because of heavy rain, spills, sewers and birds migrating through or living in the area. Review our beach water quality reports to learn more about factors that affect local beach water quality.

Due to our agency's COVID-19 response, HPPH is sampling one day per week on Wednesdays for the 2020 season. If high E.coli counts require beach water to be tested again, resampling will be done on Fridays (and Saturdays) where required.

Current status

If there is a water quality issue, a sign will be posted at the beach. The signs encourage beach goers to make an informed decision about beach water quality before swimming. Besides E. coli, signs can be posted for algae, chemical or sewage spills, or other factors.

When levels of E. coli bacteria exceed the Ministry of Health guidelines, we will advise: High bacterial results – Swimming not recommended. This is a recommendation that you shouldn't swim, or if you do swim, you're doing so at your own risk. If you swim, you could be exposed to bacteria that may cause diarrhea or infections of your ears, nose, throat, eyes, and skin.

Please NOTE: Even though HPPH is testing beach water at local beaches, some may be closed to the public as part of COVID-19 restrictions. Prior to going to a Huron or Perth County beach, it is important to check with the local municipality prior to your visit.

Perth County beach water quality
Public beachBeach water quality statusDate warning posted

Hidden Acres Mennonite Camp

Acceptable bacterial results – Water suitable to swim

 

St. Mary's Quarry

Acceptable bacterial results – Water suitable to swim

 

Wildwood Lake Beach Area

Acceptable bacterial results – Water suitable to swim

 

Woodland Lake Beach

Acceptable bacterial results – Water suitable to swim

 
Huron County beach water quality 
Public beachBeach water quality statusDate warning posted

Amberley

Acceptable bacterial results – Water suitable to swim

 

Ashfield Township Park

Acceptable bacterial results – Water suitable to swim

 

Pier Beach (formerly Bayfield Main Beach)

Acceptable bacterial results – Water suitable to swim

 

Howard Street Beach (formerly Bayfield South Beach)

Acceptable bacterial results - Water suitable to swim

 

Black's Point

Acceptable bacterial results – Water suitable to swim

 

Goderich – Main

Acceptable bacterial results - Water suitable to swim

 

Goderich – Rotary Cove 

Acceptable bacterial results - Water suitable to swim

 

Goderich – St. Christopher's 

Acceptable bacterial results - Water suitable to swim

 

Hay Township Park (sampling postponed due to accessibility)

N/A

 

Houston Heights (sampling postponed due to accessibility)

N/A

 

Port Albert

Acceptable bacterial results – Water suitable to swim

 

Port Blake (sampling postponed due to accessiblity)

N/A

 

St. Joseph's

Acceptable bacterial results – Water suitable to swim

 

Sunset

Acceptable bacterial results – Water suitable to swim

 

Is it safe to swim?

Huron Perth Public Health regularly samples the beaches for bacteria. However, due to the delay in receiving lab results, beach goers cannot rely on only lab results to know if it is safe to swim.

Ask yourself these questions to decide if it's safe to swim:

  • Is the water turbid (can't see my feet while standing waist deep in water)?
  • Has there been heavy rainfall in the last 24 to 48 hours?

If you answered yes to either of these questions, E. coli levels are probably high and it may be unsafe to swim. The current E.coli test is only an indicator that there was fecal contamination from either animal, human, or both, and that there could have been other harmful bacteria, parasites and viruses present in the water when the samples were collected.