Monday, June 23, 2008

Most Ottawa beaches open for first day of summer

City of Ottawa beaches officially opened under sunny skies Saturday, just in time for the first day of summer.

Britannia, Mooney's Bay and Westboro are open to swimmers. However, downstream of Ottawa, Petrie Island remains closed due to high E coli levels.

Many feared that more of Ottawa's beaches would not be open this weekend. Recent testing has shown E. coli levels at Westboro Beach have been up to five times what the health department considers safe.

Questions about the water quality of Ottawa's beaches have swirled through the spring after the city admitted to a massive sewage leak a few years back.

Petrie Island, located in Ottawa's east end, was closed for 45 days in 2006 after a valve malfunctioned, spilling more than 900,000 cubic metres of biological waste into the Ottawa River.

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