Recreational water quality monitoring Recreational water quality monitoring <div class="ExternalClassE7AF06E0955244FE9582B0552FA02D41"><p>Metro Vancouver has been monitoring the bacteriological quality of local recreational waters for more than 50 years. Both swimming and non-swimming beaches are tested at least once a week from May to September and less frequently outside of this period, to make sure the water is suitable for recreational activities. </p><p>The monitored locations are determined in agreement with the provincial health authorities. Currently, water is taken from 115 sites in 41 locations across the region, and is tested at Metro Vancouver’s Microbiology Laboratory. Results are compared with the Health Canada guideline and provided to the regional health authorities and beach operators (municipalities and Metro Vancouver Regional Parks). Based on the test results, the health authorities determine whether beaches are safe for recreational use, and recommend whether notices should be posted to inform the users of a possible risk. </p><p>If bacterial counts are elevated, Metro Vancouver conducts additional checks of its wastewater treatment plant and sewer collection system to confirm the operations are functioning normally. Metro Vancouver staff also co-ordinates with their municipal counterparts who conduct checks of their systems to ensure that there are no anomalies that could affect water quality. In some instances special investigations are conducted to confirm or eliminate possible sources of contamination.</p><p>Bacteriological water quality may be affected by a number of sources that include direct animal (e.g., dogs, geese, gulls) and human contact, combined sewer overflows, stormwater and agricultural runoff, a malfunction in the treatment or collection system, sanitary discharges from boats, as well as algal blooms, temperature and limited tidal action.</p><p>The 2016 recreational season has come to an end, and overall water quality was very good. The Health Canada guideline for swimming was only exceeded for seven days at one beach. The results were consistent with the past 10 years with the exception of 2014. That year was considered atypical and bacteriological water quality was thought to have been influenced by the unusually long, hot summer.</p></div>http://www.metrovancouver.org/metroupdate/PublishingImages/issue25-watertesting.jpg2016-10-31T07:00:00ZGP0|#3f3e419f-0fa5-4790-ac10-a80ab0188ba4;L0|#03f3e419f-0fa5-4790-ac10-a80ab0188ba4|Issue 25;GTSet|#d14ffe11-45dc-48fb-8684-ff109cf15a74<div class="ExternalClass34E53D62CC184E93A07094551166661D"><p>​Metro Vancouver monitors the quality of local recreational water at both swimming and non-swimming beaches. The 2016 results are in, and overall water quality was very good. </p></div>0Water quality monitoring sample collection East False Creek