Healthy places Water Beaches and recreational water Beach water quality

Beach water quality

Oxford County Public Health conducts water quality testing at public beaches from June - Labour Day.

The test results for the week of August 28 - Sept. 1 are now posted. 

2017 Beach water quality  




RED: High levels of bacteria may pose a health risk. It is not safe to swim.

GREEN: The last water sample taken did not show harmful levels of bacteria, but remember that weather or other factors may have changed water quality since then (see below).

NO COLOUR: No current sample taken.

Lake Sunova (Lakeside)

Pittock Reservoir (Woodstock)

Spring Lake (Mount Elgin)

Trout Lake “Quarry” (Innerkip)

Follow Oxford County Public Health on Facebook and Twitter to receive beach water quality updates.

About beach water testing

Water is tested for E. coli bacteria, which is an indicator that there is fecal contamination present from either animal or human or both.

E. coli, as well as the presence of other disease-causing organisms, can cause skin, eye, ear, nose and throat infections or gastrointestinal illness.

Weather conditions can also adversely affect water quality. You should not swim if the water is cloudy from wave action or following a heavy rainfall. After a heavy rainfall, the water may be polluted with high levels of bacteria for up to two days.

If water results show a public beach is unsafe for swimming, a red warning sign is posted at the beach to indicate the water may pose a risk to your health and swimming is not recommended.

The recreational water quality guideline of 100 E. coli per 100 ml of water is set jointly by the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Health & Long-Term Care.

Read the Oxford County Public Health fact sheet

Questions? Please call 519-421-9901 | 1-800-922-0096.


Get beach water updates 24-7 through 211

Beach water quality updates are also available through 211, Ontario’s free information and referral service. Dial 2-1-1 to check beach status reports by telephone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you have health questions or concerns about water-related illness, please ask your doctor or call Public Health at 519-421-9901 or 1-800-922-0096.

Other resources

Health Canada: Recreational water quality

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention: Healthy swimming