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June 4, 2004
Weather cooperates with launch of beach season
  
Looking forward to sunny skies and rising temperatures, the City of Toronto
launched another beach season today at the annual beach testing launch.
Starting this week, Toronto's 14 beaches will be lifeguarded and put to the
test.

Every year, the City of Toronto's Water and Wastewater Services Division uses
boats to collect samples from the beaches. The samples are analyzed by the
Provincial Health Lab and results are reviewed by Toronto Public Health. If
E.coli bacteria levels exceed 100 E.coli per 100 millilitres of water, signs
warning against swimming will be posted.

This year at the launch, the City highlighted those beaches that would be "best
bets" for swimming and recreational water sports this year. "We looked at our
results over the past several years and noticed several beaches that
consistently have positive water quality results," said Mike Price, General
Manager, Water and Wastewater Services. "Time and again, Cherry Beach,
Hanlan's Point Beach, Ward's Island Beach, Balmy Beach, Woodbine Ashbridges Bay
Beach, Beaches Park Beach, Centre Island Beach have had the best results
throughout the swimming season."

Mr. Price also drew attention to the work that is still needed to further
improve these good beaches and bring others up to the same levels, or better.
"The City has started implementation of our 25-year plan, now dubbed the Water
Pollution Solution, at a total cost of about $1 billion," said Price. "We are
fully committed to making our beaches a source of pride for residents and
visitors alike, but it will take time and the commitment of residents,
businesses and the City."

The Toronto Police Marine Unit was also on-hand to discuss beach safety and
their new warning flag system at the beaches. The flag system, similar to
others used internationally, will indicate the safety level of the lake,
depending on wave action, and bottom drop-offs. A red, yellow or green flag
will be flown above a sandwich board that explains the system. The sandwich
boards will also be updated with the water temperature, latest E.coli count and
the UV index.

Before heading out to the beach, call the City's Beach Water Quality Hotline at
416-392-7161 or visit: http://www.toronto.ca/beach for beach locations and
updated test results (beginning the week of June 7-11).

For information on how residents can be part of the solution to water
pollution, visit: http://www.toronto.ca/water.

Media contacts:
Cheryn Gervais, Senior Communications Coordinator, Works & Emergency Services,
416-392-4311, cell: 416-936-4035
Susan Sperling, Communications Coordinator, Toronto Public Health, 416-338-7974



 

 

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