Beach Water Quality

Huron Perth Public Health tests beach water for unsafe bacteria. MyPerthHuron hosts past and present data on beach water quality at Huron County beaches. Past reports of Huron County beach water quality are available from HPPH upon request. Perth County public beaches are also monitored.

Beaches are “posted” when levels of E. coli bacteria exceed the Ministry of Health guidelines. A “posting” 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. See the current status of Huron and Perth beaches.

Through myPerthHuron, you can find a full reporting of all E. coli results and environmental conditions.

At the beach, you might see a sign warning you to stay out of the water. Besides E. coli, signs can be posted for algae, chemical or sewage spills, or other factors. 

Known sources of E. coli in fresh water lakes are:

  • Storm drains and rivers
  • Septic systems
  • Groundwater
  • Birds
  • Domestic and wild animals
  • Swimmers
  • Environmentally adapted strains of E. coli (Edge & Hill, 2005; Gerba, 2000; Haack, Fogarty, & Wright, 2003; Jarvie et al., 2010; Kon, Weir, Howell, Lee, & Trevors, 2009)

Detailed information on beach water testing, such as bird counts, weather and other notes, are available at the United Way's website in the "Environment" section. Real time and historical beach water data for all Huron County beaches are also available there.