Elk Water Lake Beach in Cypress Hills Provincial Park

Cypress County, Alberta

Elkwater Lake is on the Alberta side of the Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park. The Cypress Hills are a unique area that rise 600 metres above sea level on a plateau in this plains region. The different elevation creates a very unique ecosystem for this part of the Canadian Prairies. One of the gems of this ecosystem is Elkwater Lake.
The beach and marina area are in the Elkwater townsite. The beach is large and sandy with clear, shallow waters that warm up in the months of July and August. The beach area has a marked swimming area, playground, picnic area and all of the other amenities for a trip to the beach. This is a great Alberta beach and lake for families. There a number of campgrounds in the area and a day trip is difficult from the major cities because of the isolated location. This is a very popular tourist area and beach in the Summer so book your accommodation early.

COVID-19

Keep your distance from other people.

Practicing social distancing is still essential. Only go to the beach if you are able to keep 6 feet or 2 meters away from others. Follow the instructions provided by your local health authorities. If your community has asked that you remain indoors and away from others, do so. Spending a day in any crowded place is the worst thing we can do for our most vulnerable right now and will counter our efforts to curb the virus’s spread.

Water Quality
  • No data available

  • Current Status
  • This status is based on the latest sample, taken on September 7th, 2016. North Saskatchewan Riverkeeper updates the status of this beach as soon as test results become available. These results were posted to Swim Guide on September 7th, 2016 at 2:40 PM.
For water quality icon legend, click:  
Current Weather
9°C
Mostly clear
Monitoring Frequency

Elk Water Lake Beach in Cypress Hills Provincial Park is sampled from May 1st to September 1st.

Source Information

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.

Read more
Water Quality Graph

Elk Water Lake Beach in Cypress Hills Provincial Park

Cypress County, Alberta

COVID-19

Keep your distance from other people.

Practicing social distancing is still essential. Only go to the beach if you are able to keep 6 feet or 2 meters away from others. Follow the instructions provided by your local health authorities. If your community has asked that you remain indoors and away from others, do so. Spending a day in any crowded place is the worst thing we can do for our most vulnerable right now and will counter our efforts to curb the virus’s spread.

Water Quality
  • No data available
  • Current Status
  • This status is based on the latest sample, taken on September 7th, 2016. North Saskatchewan Riverkeeper updates the status of this beach as soon as test results become available. These results were posted to Swim Guide on September 7th, 2016 at 2:40 PM.
For water quality icon legend, click:  
Current Weather
9°C
Mostly clear

Elkwater Lake is on the Alberta side of the Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park. The Cypress Hills are a unique area that rise 600 metres above sea level on a plateau in this plains region. The different elevation creates a very unique ecosystem for this part of the Canadian Prairies. One of the gems of this ecosystem is Elkwater Lake.
The beach and marina area are in the Elkwater townsite. The beach is large and sandy with clear, shallow waters that warm up in the months of July and August. The beach area has a marked swimming area, playground, picnic area and all of the other amenities for a trip to the beach. This is a great Alberta beach and lake for families. There a number of campgrounds in the area and a day trip is difficult from the major cities because of the isolated location. This is a very popular tourist area and beach in the Summer so book your accommodation early.

Monitoring Frequency

Elk Water Lake Beach in Cypress Hills Provincial Park is sampled from May 1st to September 1st.

Source Information

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.

Read more
Water Quality Graph

  Beach Location Water Quality
, Alberta
Foremost, Alberta
Cypress County, Alberta
Maple Creek, Saskatchewan
Swim Guide
is supported by
* The RBC Foundation

Swim Guide shares the best information we have at the moment you ask for it. Always obey signs at the beach or advisories from official government agencies. Stay alert and check for other swimming hazards such as dangerous currents and tides. Please report your pollution concerns so Affiliates can help keep other beach-goers safe.

Swim Guide, "Swim Drink Fish icons," and associated trademarks are owned by SWIM DRINK FISH CANADA. See Legal.

© SWIM DRINK FISH CANADA, 2011 - 2022