Swim advisory for Kelowna's Rotary Beach | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Swim advisory for Kelowna's Rotary Beach

Rotary Beach in Kelowna is pictured in the screenshot from Google Street View.
September 05, 2020 - 11:15 AM

A swimming advisory has been issued for Rotary Beach on Lakeshore Avenue near Barrera Road due to elevated bacterial counts, the City of Kelowna says.

The beach is not closed, but swimming advisory signs have been posted so that public can make an informed choice.

The very young, the elderly and people with weakened immunity are the most susceptible to infection related to bacterial counts in the water. When E. coli reaches 200 units per 100 millilitre sample, it’s expected that one per cent of bathers may develop gastrointestinal (stomach) illness if these bacteria are ingested. Eye, ear and throat symptoms, as well as skin rashes (not swimmer’s itch), can occur more frequently.

“We are asking the public not to swim or engage in water-related recreation activities at Rotary Beach Park until the water quality advisory has been lifted,” Blair Stewart, park services manager said in a press release. “Most people would be fine, but there is that one per cent who could become ill if they ingest the water.”

No other Kelowna beaches are under a swimming advisory and meet all recreational water quality guidelines.

Beach water quality can fluctuate due to a number of different factors including currents, runoff, creek outflows, waterfowl and animal waste. The City of Kelowna and Interior Health sample water quality at higher risk beaches, with no fewer than five samples in a 30-day period.

When a swimming advisory is in place, signs will be posted at the affected beach. Once testing shows bacteria levels have returned to acceptable levels, the swimming advisory will be lifted.

For more information, visit kelowna.ca/parks or call the Swimming Advisory Hotline at 250-469-8455.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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