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Cold Lake continues to work with AHS to monitor water quality

The City of Cold Lake continues to liaise with Alberta Health Services (AHS) to monitor water conditions at the designated swimming area at Kinosoo Beach.

 

The AHS water quality advisory for the beach remains in place, as the average of the test results remains above acceptable levels of the enterococcus bacteria in the provincial guidelines. It should be noted that only designated swimming areas are tested. The Advisory is only applicable to the Kinosoo Beach area.

 

“Our test results have shown significant improvement in the water quality, but the guidelines take an average of the levels over the past 30 days,” Kevin Nagoya, the City’s Chief Administrative Officer said. “The average remains above the acceptable threshold due to spikes in a few of the results. We continue to urge residents to pay attention to AHS’s advisory until we can communicate that it has been lifted.”

 

In the meantime, city staff are working to ensure that any factors contributing to the water quality issue are identified and mitigated.

 

Droppings from waterfowl in the Kinosoo Beach area may be one of the contributing factors. Residents and visitors are reminded not to litter and not to feed wildlife, as it keeps them in the area.

 

Recently, city crews have cleaned out storm catch basins, and discovered a significant amount of dog bags containing fecal matter that have been disposed of in the basins, especially in the Nelson Heights area. Though it is undetermined if this has a direct effect on the water quality and resulting AHS advisory, it is thought to be one of several contributing factors.

 

The City of Cold Lake would also like to remind residents that storm drains are not intended to collect anything other than storm water run-off. Storm drains do not collect water for treatment as a sanitary sewer system does. Rather, they direct storm water flow away from municipal and residential infrastructure, to be released over the landscape. Although the current advisory is related to elevated levels of fecal material, residents are reminded that the proper disposal of all waste, including waste from pets, RVs and campers, as well as household chemicals, paint and other toxic materials, helps to keep our community clean and our environment safe for everyone to enjoy.

 

Any questions about proper waste disposal can be forwarded to City Hall at [email protected] or by calling 780-594-4494 during business hours. For more information about AHS’s water quality advisory for the Kinosoo Beach area, please contact the Cold Lake Environmental Public Health Office at 780-594-4404.

 

City staff will continue to assess any activity that could contribute to the conditions experienced at the beach.