Each year public health officials from across the region monitor water quality to ensure that it is safe for swimming.
In Hamilton, Van Wagners Beach has been monitored and is safe for swimming, as are all other places to swim except Pier 4 and Bayfront Park, because of the history of high levels of bacteria and toxins. The toxins in the water are largely from blue-green algae.
In Halton it is safe to swim at Kelso Conservation Area, Coronation Park East and Bronte Beach, but not at Prospect Park Old Beach.
In the Niagara region it is safe to swim everywhere, except Nelles Beach in Grimsby, Charles Daley Park in Lincoln, Humberstone Centennial Park and Lakeside Beach in St. Catharines.
Beaches are posted as unsafe or closed when water tests show unacceptable levels of e. coli bacteria. Beaches might also be unsafe because of floating debris, oil, excessive weed growth, bad odors and cloudy water. Swimming in these waters could cause infection. If you are exposed to blue-green algae, symptoms could include itchy, irritated eyes and skin, headaches, fever, diarrhea, stomach pain. More serious effects such as liver damage may occur if larger amounts are ingested.
A full list of beach safety is posted on each regions website.