Grand Beach – East

Grand Marais, Manitoba

East Grand Beach is a one hour drive north from the City of Winnipeg, on Highway 59 to Highway 12. The beach is thought to be one of the best beaches in North America, and attracts thousands of visitors each year with fine, white sand stretching 3 km along Lake Winnipeg, a large freshwater lake. The beach is located within Grand Beach Provincial Park, requiring a 3 day or seasonal park pass which can be purchased at the park entrance. The park provides change rooms and washrooms along the beach front. East Grand Beach is adjacent to a large provincial campground, with over 350 basic and electrified sites.

There are many activities for visitors in the area including fishing, boating, berry picking, bird watching, and hiking. The Piping Plover makes its home on beaches in the area, and volunteers monitor breeding pairs of this threatened bird species. Directly south of the beach is a lagoon, fed by a causeway dividing the eastern and western portions of the beach. This area is home to many wildlife species, and self-guided trails include informational signage on the area’s ecosystem. Historically, Grand Beach was a popular destination by train in the 1920s, with a carousel, dance hall pavilion and live music. The dance hall was destroyed by fire in 1950, but the community has remained a summer hot spot.

WATER QUALITY
  • Passed water quality tests 60-95% of the time
  • Historical Status
  • This status is based on the latest sample, taken on . North Saskatchewan Riverkeeper updates the status of this beach as soon as test results become available. These results were posted to Swim Guide on at
For water quality icon legend, click:   
CURRENT WEATHER
-5°C
Clear and sunny
MONITORING FREQUENCY

Grand Beach – East is sampled weekly from June 1st to September 15th

SOURCE INFORMATION

Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship, in conjunction with Manitoba Health, has developed the Clean Beaches Program to provide valuable information to the public on how to protect Manitoba’s beautiful beaches and reduce the risk of illness to bathers.

There are 60 beaches across Manitoba that are routinely monitored each season for E. coli and the presence of algae and the algal toxin microcystin. Beaches that exceed Manitoba’s recreational water quality objectives are posted with advisory signs at the beach and on Manitoba’s beach website at: Manitoba.ca/beaches.

Water quality samples are routinely collected during the summer months. Monitoring typically begins in June and continues at most beaches until the end of August. Frequency of sampling is determined based on recreational intensity, historic bacteria data, or in support of special projects. Swim Guide checks daily from Monday - Friday for E. coli and algae advisories.

Website: Manitoba.ca/beaches

E. coli
In general, if the geometric mean of E. coli samples exceeds Manitoba’s recreational water quality objective of 200 bacteria/100 mL and/or when a single sample contains more than 400 bacteria/100 mL the beach is re-sampled.

A beach is marked Green when the geometric mean of E. coli samples is below Manitoba’s recreational water quality objective of 200 bacteria/100 mL.

A beach is marked Red when the geometric mean of E. coli samples is above Manitoba’s recreational water quality objective of 200 bacteria/100 mL.

A beach is marked Grey when reliable or up-to-date information is not available.

Algal Blooms
Manitoba’s Clean Beaches Program routinely monitors about 60 beaches across the province for the presence of algal blooms. Algae samples are also collected from other waterbodies in response to calls from members of the public, regional staff and other partners. Algae samples are only collected when an algal bloom is present. Manitoba monitors algae for the density and species of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) present, as well as the concentration of algal toxin microcystin.

Manitoba’s recreational water quality objective for total cyanobacteria cell counts is 100,000 cells per mL. Below 100,000 cells per mL recreational activities are considered safe. Above 100,000 cells per mL a first level algal advisory sign is posted that cautions bathers to avoid swimming or other contact with the water when blooms are present. Once an algal bloom has been observed at a given beach, this sign remains posted for the remainder of the beach season.

Manitoba’s recreational water quality objective for the algal toxin microcystin is 20 µg/L. Although not all algae produce toxins, some species of cyanobacteria produce algal toxins that can be harmful to the liver or nervous system if large amounts of water are swallowed. When microcystin concentrations exceed 20 µg/L a second level algal toxin advisory sign is posted that indicates swimming, drinking or any contact with the water is not recommended. The second level algal toxin advisory sign remains posted until the concentration of microcystin returns below 20 µg/L

In the absence of a severe algal bloom, recreational activities are considered safe. However, if large amounts of green scum, indicating an algal bloom, is present, it is advisable to:
Avoid swimming or other contact with the water;
Do not drink the water – boiling or chlorination will not make the water safe;
Prevent pets and livestock from drinking along the shoreline; 
Do not eat fish from the lake that appear unhealthy.

Swimmer’s Itch
The swimmer's itch parasite is naturally found in many Manitoba lakes. It causes a temporary skin irritation or rash in swimmers who come in contact with the parasite. As water droplets evaporate from the skin, the tiny parasitic larvae enters a swimmer's pores and dies, leaving an itchy elevated red spot that may last from four to fourteen days. The allergic reaction to swimmer's itch can be extremely annoying but it is not dangerous and will not spread. However, scratching the itch could cause infection.

You can find out if swimmers itch has been confirmed at a beach by following the link to this website: http://www.gov.mb.ca/waterstewardship/quality/swimmers_itch.html

Source: Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship, Water Quality and Management Section, 2014: Manitoba.ca/beaches

WATER QUALITY GRAPH

Grand Beach – East

Grand Marais, Manitoba

WATER QUALITY
  • Passed water quality tests 60-95% of the time
  • Historical Status
  • This status is based on the latest sample, taken on . North Saskatchewan Riverkeeper updates the status of this beach as soon as test results become available. These results were posted to Swim Guide on at
For water quality icon legend, click:   
CURRENT WEATHER
-5°C
Clear and sunny

East Grand Beach is a one hour drive north from the City of Winnipeg, on Highway 59 to Highway 12. The beach is thought to be one of the best beaches in North America, and attracts thousands of visitors each year with fine, white sand stretching 3 km along Lake Winnipeg, a large freshwater lake. The beach is located within Grand Beach Provincial Park, requiring a 3 day or seasonal park pass which can be purchased at the park entrance. The park provides change rooms and washrooms along the beach front. East Grand Beach is adjacent to a large provincial campground, with over 350 basic and electrified sites.

There are many activities for visitors in the area including fishing, boating, berry picking, bird watching, and hiking. The Piping Plover makes its home on beaches in the area, and volunteers monitor breeding pairs of this threatened bird species. Directly south of the beach is a lagoon, fed by a causeway dividing the eastern and western portions of the beach. This area is home to many wildlife species, and self-guided trails include informational signage on the area’s ecosystem. Historically, Grand Beach was a popular destination by train in the 1920s, with a carousel, dance hall pavilion and live music. The dance hall was destroyed by fire in 1950, but the community has remained a summer hot spot.

MONITORING FREQUENCY

Grand Beach – East is sampled weekly from June 1st to September 15th

SOURCE INFORMATION

Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship, in conjunction with Manitoba Health, has developed the Clean Beaches Program to provide valuable information to the public on how to protect Manitoba’s beautiful beaches and reduce the risk of illness to bathers.

There are 60 beaches across Manitoba that are routinely monitored each season for E. coli and the presence of algae and the algal toxin microcystin. Beaches that exceed Manitoba’s recreational water quality objectives are posted with advisory signs at the beach and on Manitoba’s beach website at: Manitoba.ca/beaches.

Water quality samples are routinely collected during the summer months. Monitoring typically begins in June and continues at most beaches until the end of August. Frequency of sampling is determined based on recreational intensity, historic bacteria data, or in support of special projects. Swim Guide checks daily from Monday - Friday for E. coli and algae advisories.

Website: Manitoba.ca/beaches

E. coli
In general, if the geometric mean of E. coli samples exceeds Manitoba’s recreational water quality objective of 200 bacteria/100 mL and/or when a single sample contains more than 400 bacteria/100 mL the beach is re-sampled.

A beach is marked Green when the geometric mean of E. coli samples is below Manitoba’s recreational water quality objective of 200 bacteria/100 mL.

A beach is marked Red when the geometric mean of E. coli samples is above Manitoba’s recreational water quality objective of 200 bacteria/100 mL.

A beach is marked Grey when reliable or up-to-date information is not available.

Algal Blooms
Manitoba’s Clean Beaches Program routinely monitors about 60 beaches across the province for the presence of algal blooms. Algae samples are also collected from other waterbodies in response to calls from members of the public, regional staff and other partners. Algae samples are only collected when an algal bloom is present. Manitoba monitors algae for the density and species of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) present, as well as the concentration of algal toxin microcystin.

Manitoba’s recreational water quality objective for total cyanobacteria cell counts is 100,000 cells per mL. Below 100,000 cells per mL recreational activities are considered safe. Above 100,000 cells per mL a first level algal advisory sign is posted that cautions bathers to avoid swimming or other contact with the water when blooms are present. Once an algal bloom has been observed at a given beach, this sign remains posted for the remainder of the beach season.

Manitoba’s recreational water quality objective for the algal toxin microcystin is 20 µg/L. Although not all algae produce toxins, some species of cyanobacteria produce algal toxins that can be harmful to the liver or nervous system if large amounts of water are swallowed. When microcystin concentrations exceed 20 µg/L a second level algal toxin advisory sign is posted that indicates swimming, drinking or any contact with the water is not recommended. The second level algal toxin advisory sign remains posted until the concentration of microcystin returns below 20 µg/L

In the absence of a severe algal bloom, recreational activities are considered safe. However, if large amounts of green scum, indicating an algal bloom, is present, it is advisable to:
Avoid swimming or other contact with the water;
Do not drink the water – boiling or chlorination will not make the water safe;
Prevent pets and livestock from drinking along the shoreline; 
Do not eat fish from the lake that appear unhealthy.

Swimmer’s Itch
The swimmer's itch parasite is naturally found in many Manitoba lakes. It causes a temporary skin irritation or rash in swimmers who come in contact with the parasite. As water droplets evaporate from the skin, the tiny parasitic larvae enters a swimmer's pores and dies, leaving an itchy elevated red spot that may last from four to fourteen days. The allergic reaction to swimmer's itch can be extremely annoying but it is not dangerous and will not spread. However, scratching the itch could cause infection.

You can find out if swimmers itch has been confirmed at a beach by following the link to this website: http://www.gov.mb.ca/waterstewardship/quality/swimmers_itch.html

Source: Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship, Water Quality and Management Section, 2014: Manitoba.ca/beaches

WATER QUALITY GRAPH



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