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Island Health adds Langford Lake to beach water quality warnings

Meanwhile, second sample in Esquimalt comes back better, but still way over limit
The beach closure at Esquimalt Gorge Park remains in effect after a second water sample taken on June 3 came in at 12 times the recommended limit for bacteria. A test taken on May 22 showed the water at the beach was over 32 times the limit for bacteria.

There are now five water quality warnings at Greater Victoria beaches. These include advisories at four oceanside locations, as well as one for Langford Lake at Ed Nixon Lane.

Meanwhile, a second sample taken at Esquimalt Gorge Park on June 3 came in at over 12 times the recommended limit for enterococci bacteria, down from over 32 times the limit in a sample taken on May 22.

The presence of enterococci is an indication of fecal contamination, according to a spokesperson for Island health. This could be from human or animal waste.

“Elevated bacteria levels may be due to a variety of factors, including water temperatures, tides, or storm water (which can be affected by heavy rainfall events),” the Island Health spokesperson said via email.

Neither Island Health nor the Township of Esquimalt were able to provide a precise reason for the high level of bacteria found at Gorge Park.

“I can say there has been no specific incident we are aware of that has triggered this,” said Tara Zajac, Esquimalt’s communications manager. “Our parks staff are looking into it.”

The new closure announced at Langford Lake is for e-coli, also an indicator of fecal contamination. There were 415 e-coli found in a 100 millilitre sample, slightly over the recommended limit of 400.

Besides Langford and Esquimalt, closures are in place at Saanich Inlet at Clarke Road, Ross Bay Beach at Eberts Street and Coles Bay Beach.

About the Author: Mark Page

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