Chain Lakes Provincial Park Beach

Nanton, Alberta

Chain Lakes Provincial Park Beach is more of a wading beach than a swimming beach and there is no marked swimming area. The area around the small, sandy/rocky beach is large and grassy with all of the amenities required for a day by the water. The location and views are very pretty. There is a boat launch and fishing from shore and boat seems the activity of choice.

Power Boating: 12 km/h speed limit.
NO TOWING allowed - water skiing, tubing and wake boarding prohibited.

The lake was created by an earthen dam near the day use area. Water levels can fluctuate over the season, and Chain Lakes is located in a very dry region of the province. Only communal fire pits are provided in the park's campground.
____________________________________________
History

The reservoir was named for the three Chain Lakes that nearly filled the area now covered by the reservoir. These lakes were fed by numerous springs; in winter, the ice was often so thin that buffalo crossing the lakes would break through and drown (Finlay and Finlay, 1987). Cattle grazing has been the primary use for the land since the first ranches were established in the late 1800s.

In 1957, the provincial government approached the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration (PFRA) to consider developing storage on Willow Creek to ensure a continuous water supply downstream, mostly to guarantee municipal supply for the towns of Claresholm and Granum (Agric. Can. 1961). In 1966, the PFRA built two dams, the south one across Willow Creek and the north one across Meinsinger Creek. By 1967, the reservoir was full.

(www.sunsite.ualberta.ca)

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
2°C
Cloudy with a few clear breaks
Monitoring Frequency

Chain Lakes Provincial Park Beach 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

Chain Lakes Provincial Park Beach

Nanton, 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
2°C
Cloudy with a few clear breaks

Chain Lakes Provincial Park Beach is more of a wading beach than a swimming beach and there is no marked swimming area. The area around the small, sandy/rocky beach is large and grassy with all of the amenities required for a day by the water. The location and views are very pretty. There is a boat launch and fishing from shore and boat seems the activity of choice.

Power Boating: 12 km/h speed limit.
NO TOWING allowed - water skiing, tubing and wake boarding prohibited.

The lake was created by an earthen dam near the day use area. Water levels can fluctuate over the season, and Chain Lakes is located in a very dry region of the province. Only communal fire pits are provided in the park's campground.
____________________________________________
History

The reservoir was named for the three Chain Lakes that nearly filled the area now covered by the reservoir. These lakes were fed by numerous springs; in winter, the ice was often so thin that buffalo crossing the lakes would break through and drown (Finlay and Finlay, 1987). Cattle grazing has been the primary use for the land since the first ranches were established in the late 1800s.

In 1957, the provincial government approached the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration (PFRA) to consider developing storage on Willow Creek to ensure a continuous water supply downstream, mostly to guarantee municipal supply for the towns of Claresholm and Granum (Agric. Can. 1961). In 1966, the PFRA built two dams, the south one across Willow Creek and the north one across Meinsinger Creek. By 1967, the reservoir was full.

(www.sunsite.ualberta.ca)

Monitoring Frequency

Chain Lakes Provincial Park Beach 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

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