The swimming area of Papermill Dam, photographed during the Alberni Valley News’ 2018 Day in the Life photo day, is closed to all in-water activities due to high bacterial counts. ELENA RARDON PHOTO

UPDATE: Advisory lifted for Papermill Dam in Port Alberni

Papermill Dam was closed on both sides of Somass River due to high E. coli counts

Papermill Dam beaches on both sides of the Somass River in Port Alberni have been reopened after high bacterial counts discovered in the water temporarily closed the beaches to swimming.

The First Nations Health Authority lifted the advisory for the beach immediately across the river from Papermill Dam Park after water samples taken Wednesday, Aug. 7 and Thursday, Aug. 8 indicated that Enterococci bacteria levels have returned to within acceptable levels. Island Health has also stated that the advisory for the beach at Papermill Dam may also be lifted.

“The City of Port Alberni will continue to monitor water samples at all public beach sites and communicate results as required,” city CAO Tim Pley said in a press release.

Both the First Nation Health Authority and City of Port Alberni issued advisories closing the beaches to swimming last week. The Tseshaht First Nation also closed the Somass Dam Beach (Hector Road side of Papermill Dam) on Wednesday morning to all in-water activities.

“We are working with the FNHA to find the source of the issue,” a post read on the Tseshaht Facebook page.

A water sample taken July 25 at the Hector Road side of Papermill Dam showed 3,400 parts per 100 mL (colony forming units, or CFU) of E. coli and other coliforms. That is far higher than Island Health standards of 400 parts per 100 mL, or Canadian drinking water standards of 200 CFU.

READ: Swim advisory lifted at Canal Beach

Tests were conducted on the Falls Street side of the park too, under direction of the City of Port Alberni. That side falls within city limits.

“The city will undertake and submit water samples for testing and will keep an advisory in effect until such time as Island Health is satisfied with results,” Pley said in a press release at the time.

The City of Port Alberni lifted an advisory at Canal Waterfront Park (Canal Beach) on Friday after that beach was plagued with high readings of enterococci (the same bacterial family as E. coli, except it occurs in salt water). Readings taken at Polly’s Point, around the corner from Canal Beach, were within acceptable levels last week, Pley noted in an earlier story.



susie.quinn@albernivalleynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Hundreds come out to meet federal NDP leader at Port Alberni rally

Pipelines, a coalition government and reconciliation among topics Jagmeet Singh covers

Port Alberni receives provincial funding for food hub

Seafood processing hub will be operated by Port Alberni Port Authority

New owner ‘walking away’ from derelict Arrowview Hotel after one week

WorksafeBC issues stop work order; owner Stan Pottie says cost to continue too high

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh to campaign in Port Alberni

Singh joins Courtenay-Alberni candidate for rally to kick off final weekend before election

ELECTION 2019: It’s so close, it could come down to who turns out to vote

Black Press Media’s polling analyst on the origins of predictive seat modelling in Canada

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

Greta Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta, but doesn’t talk oilsands

Swedish teen was met with some oil and gas industry supporters who came in a truck convoy

Scheer denies spreading ‘misinformation’ in predicting unannounced Liberal taxes

Conservative leader had claimed that a potential NDP-Liberal coalition could lead to a hike in GST

Council asks to limit cruise ship visits to Victoria harbour

Mayor says motion is not meant to curtail current visits or limit local cruise industry expansion

Chilliwack man pleads guilty in crash that killed pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged under Motor Vehicle Act for accident that killed Kelowna school teacher

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Greens and NDP go head to head on West Coast; Scheer takes fight to Bernier

Trudeau turns focus to key ridings outside Toronto after two days in Quebec

Most Read