Canal Beach closed to swimming due to high bacterial counts

This is the third advisory for the beach in three years

The beach at Canal Waterfront Park in Port Alberni is closed due to high bacterial counts. (June 9, 2021) (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

The beach at Canal Waterfront Park in Port Alberni is closed due to high bacterial counts. (June 9, 2021) (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

Canal Waterfront Park in Port Alberni is under a water advisory due to high bacterial counts.

Island Health issued the advisory on June 7, 2021. The City of Port Alberni put signs up on the beach the same day warning that the area is unsafe for swimming or other water contact activities.

Water samples taken on June 6, 2021 showed a level of 105 enterococci per 100 millilitres of water, where safe numbers are 35 or less for salt water (which Canal Beach is). Island Health closes a swimming area when there are 70 parts of enterococci or fewer in a 100 mL sample.

Water samples taken on May 18 showed five parts per 100 mL.

A second water sampling site on Canal Beach showed low numbers (less than 10) for both May 18 and June 2.

READ: Port Alberni beach closed due to high bacterial count

Island Health noted that beach sampling for 2021 resumed in May, and deputy city clerk Sara Darling confirmed testing began last month at Canal Waterfront Park beach. A beach under advisory must have two consecutive clear samples before it may reopen.

The city conducts monthly water testing at the Canal Waterfront Park beach access point as well as other water accesses. Results are regularly sent to Island Health. When readings are elevated, testing happens more frequently.

Darling said a clear sample was recorded on Tuesday, June 8, and another sample taken on Wednesday, June 9 has been submitted for inspection. Results are expected Thursday or Friday.

“We don’t know the source (of bacteria),” she said Wednesday evening. “We do tests at multiple sites. The other sites were far below the average (acceptable) level.”

The beach at Canal Waterfront Park has been the subject of advisories for the past two years.

In July 2019 the beach remained closed for a few weeks due to high counts of enterococci, or bacteria found in feces, in the water.

The beach was also closed in July 2020 due to high levels of bacteria. At that time people complained that the city hadn’t done enough to get the word out about the beach closure beyond posting signs at the beach.

RELATED: Canal Beach in Port Alberni open for swimming (2020)

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Island HealthPort AlberniVancouver Island Health Authority

Just Posted

AW Neill Elementary School in Port Alberni. (NEWS FILE PHOTO)
SD70 chooses new name for AW Neill School in Port Alberni

New name honours Nuu-chah-nulth Peoples’ connection to region

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

Ron MacDonald fields questions at a news conference in Halifax on Sept. 27, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Finding ‘comfortable’ indigenous monitor tough task in Tofino-area shooting death

Julian Jones case hampered by difficulty finding a civilian comfortable with privacy protocols

Port Alberni RCMP officer in command Insp. Eric Rochette presents longtime community policing volunteer Louie Aumair with a OIC appreciation certificate. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Port Alberni RCMP honour longtime volunteer

First responders receive support from broader community

The Dock+ is located on Harbour Road in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
PROGRESS 2021: Port Alberni’s food hub still growing a year later

The Dock hopes to open a retail store on Alberni’s busy waterfront

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read