Failed to meet water quality standards
This status is based on the latest sample. North Saskatchewan Riverkeeper updates the status of this beach as soon as test results become available. These results were posted to Swim Guide on December 31st at 7:00 PM.
Elk Island Beach - Astotin Lake is sampled Other from July 1st to September 1st
Alberta Health Services (AHS) monitors freshwater beaches across the province of Alberta. Water samples at this beach are collected by AHS staff and processed by Alberta Public Laboratories. Beaches are sampled on varying frequencies for Enterococcus and for cyanobacteria and microcystins (blue-green algae) during the summer months. Water quality is monitored in accordance with the proposed Alberta Safe Beach Protocol, using the Environmental Protection Agency’s Recreational Water Quality Criteria. Enterococcus is measured using the quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) based molecular method of testing recreational water. High Enterococcus levels can indicate fecal contamination which poses human health risks. Guidelines recommend that a water quality advisory be posted when the tests demonstrate calibrator cell equivalents (cce) surpassing 1,280/100ml. When a Water Quality Advisory is issued, a notice is erected at the beach indicating that the location is unfit for swimming or bathing. In addition, a Water Quality Advisory is issued through the AHS website, local media. An advisory is rescinded once water quality meets the above standards. In addition to Enterococcus, AHS monitors blue-green algae throughout the swimming season. Algal blooms are monitored through visual observation and through testing for cyanobacteria and microcystins (toxins produced by blue-green algae). AHS issues a Blue-Green Algae Advisory when a bloom is identified. Advisories are posted online to https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/news/bga.aspx, circulated by local media. Appropriate signage is posted around the water body (public beaches, access points, campgrounds, etc). These advisories remain in place for the duration that the health risk persists. Swim Guide posts all advisories (enterococcus and blue green algae) that are announced. However Swim Guide is not able to share monitoring data for Alberta beaches on an ongoing basis as AHS does not share water quality test results with the public. Therefore, the swim icon will appear grey for monitored beaches due to a lack of public access to AHS recreational water quality data. Advisories will appear on the beach page as a special status red, with an ad.
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