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Water Today Title August 19, 2018

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Advisory of the day


2018/7/13

HASSE LAKE, AB: DO NOT SWIM ADVISORY DUE TO FECAL CONTAMINATION



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A water quality advisory was issued for Hasse Lake in Parkland County, Alberta on July 6. The Edmonton Zone of Alberta Health Services (AHS) has deemed the water unfit to swim or wade in.

Hasse Lake is located about 60 kilometres from Edmonton in central Alberta and is a popular spot for local residents. Visitors can enjoy swimming, boating, fishing, hiking and camping.

Samples have indicated significant levels of fecal bacteria in the water at the location of the beach. Such contamination can occur from improperly treated sewage, agricultural runoff and or animals.

The advisory warns that gastrointestinal illness could result from contact with the water at these levels as well as the increased possibility of skin, ear and eye infections.

According to Health Canada's guidelines for recreational water, guideline values for the presence of fecal bacteria corresponds to a seasonal gastrointestinal illness rate of 10 to 20 per 1000 swimmers.

AHS monitors freshwater beaches in the province. Hasse Lake Park Beach is sampled every week by AHS Environmental Public Health officers.

In addition to the advisory having been posted on the AHS website, the province has also posted advisories at the beach and alerted local media.

AHS Environmental Public Health officers will continue to monitor the water at Hasse Lake. The advisory will remain in effect until further notice.

AHS reminds visitors never to drink or cook with untreated lake water because it can contain water-borne organisms including fecal bacteria which can cause vomiting and diarrhea.

AHS has issued advisories for Hasse Lake Park Beach for contaminated water in the past, including in 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Senior Media Advisor for Alberta Health Services Kirsten Goruk said "there are a number of factors that could contribute to contamination including plants, wildlife and agriculture. The most likely cause for this current advisory is believed to be related to birds in the area."

When asked when the advisory might be lifted Goruk said "we can't speculate when the advisory will be lifted. AHS' Environmental Public Health staff will be testing the water weekly until mid-August and the advisory will be lifted when its safe for the public."

m.moore@watertoday.ca





































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