Vancouver Coastal Health has closed Panorama Park beach in Deep Cove for swimming and wading because of high levels of E.coli.
VCH is also recommending that kayakers and stand up paddle boarders rinse off well using soap and clean water and pay special attention to any cuts and scraps. It is also recommended they take shower and wash swimsuits, and towels, etc. High counts of E. coli in recreational water may increase the chances of gastrointestinal illnesses and skin/eye infections.
The latest water sample shows elevated bacteria counts far above what is safe to be in the water in Deep Cove. A mean of five samples that is over 200 E.coli\100 mL or a single sample that shows level of E.coli 400\100 mL is considered to be high for swimming and other sports in which the whole body is immersed and water is likely to be swallowed.
The four samples on August 18th show E.coli count of 3873 E. coli/100 mL, 2489 E. coli/100 mL, 5475 E. coli/100 mL, and 3282 E. coli/100 mL.
As of today, Deep Cove is the only place in Metro Vancouver where such an advisory exists.
VCH takes samples at 113 sites and 41 beach locations across the region to test for E.coli, a bacterium that is commonly found in the intestinal tract of animals and humans. Common sources of E.coli contamination in recreational waters may include raw, untreated feces from humans, pets and birds; sanitary sewer overflows; malfunctions in wastewater collection or treatment systems; improperly maintained septic tanks; and release of raw sewage from boat-holding tanks.
High counts on beaches may increase the chances of gastrointestinal, upper respiratory illnesses, and skin or eye infection. The main symptoms of an E.coli infection are bloody diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting, but VCH says it is not a given that you will get sick if you go into water that is under advisory.
But anytime you are getting into water with high E.coli, you are increasing your chances of getting sick, especially if you swallow water or get water in the nose, eyes, ears, or an open wound. There is no way to say for sure whether or not you will get sick if you go into water that is under advisory, but you will have a higher chance of getting sick.
The risk of getting sick is higher if you swallow water or get water in the nose, eyes, ears or an open wound. Examples of possible illness include stomach upset, ear infection, sore throat, or wound infection.