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Water Today Title October 22, 2020

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Update 2018/5/26
Holiday water report 2018


This story is brought to you in part by Microhydropower Systems & Designs

By Michelle Moore

As weather warms and Canadian families begin flocking to the nation's many beautiful parks, WaterToday is looking into their drinking water quality.

New Brunswick is home to sixteen provincial parks; but the most popular are Parlee Beach, Herring Cove, The Anchorage, Mactaquac, Sugarloaf, New River Beach, Mount Carleton, Murray Beach and République.

There are some amazing things to see - whether it's The Bay of Fundy at New River Beach, Canada's only lift-service mountain bike trail at Sugarloaf, an island retreat at Herring Cove, or the highest peak in the Maritimes at Mount Carleton - New Brunswick has a lot to offer visitors.

As far as drinking water is concerned, Barbara Day, Communications for New Brunswick Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture said "the quality of drinking water in our provincial parks is good. To date, there have been no seasonal water issues at any of the provincial parks."

When asked about the number of visitors they are expecting this year, Day said "in terms of visitors, in 2017, New Brunswick Provincial Park's saw approximately 730,000 visitors. We are expecting the same number of visitors, with the potential for a slight increase, for the 2018 season."

Parlee Beach Provincial Park is by the most popular by far and is said to have the warmest salt water in Canada. It has a camping ground of over 190 spots, a sand sculpture competition and sporting activities that are organized daily. Nearby, visitors will find the largest lobster sculpture in the world.

But Parlee Beach found itself at the centre of controversy last year after it was found that the government failed to inform swimmers of the high fecal count in the water. After the province decided to apply the Canadian recreational water guidelines, Parlee Beach was closed for swimming for nine days in August 2017. On one day in particular the fecal bacteria count was almost 25 times above acceptable levels.

In a press release issued May 18, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jennifer Russell said "there are precautions that you can take every day, regardless of signage, to protect yourself from potential risks associated with recreational water use, including not swallowing the water whenever possible, not exposing open cuts, wounds, or sores to the water, and washing your hands and/or using shower facilities to rinse off after being in the water."

In 2017,, only Parlee and Murray beaches were monitored but New Brunswick's Health Department will be expanding their water monitoring protocol to eight of its provincial park beaches. This summer, Mactaquac, Mount Carleton, Oak Bay, New River Beach, Miscou and Val-Comeau Provincial Parks will also be monitored.

Parlee Beach will be monitored daily while others will be on a frequency of one to three times a week. Miscou and Val-Comeau will only be monitored once every two weeks. When water quality is not suitable for swimming an advisory will be posted on the beach in question and on beaches.gnb.ca.


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