The Beach Water Sampling Program for the City of Toronto is a co-operative effort between Toronto Public Health, Toronto Water, the Marine Police Unit, Parks and Recreation Department. It is implemented in accordance with the requirements of the Ministry of Health Beach Management Protocol (January 01, 1998) in order to reduce the incidence of water-borne illness in the population.
Every year between June and September (Labour Day), the City of Toronto’s Parks, Forestry & Recreation division collects daily water samples from Toronto’s supervised public beaches to be tested for E.coli bacteria.
Toronto Public Health (TPH) measures E.coli levels to determine the beach water quality (and lifeguards monitor the safety conditions) for public swimming. When E.coli levels are unsafe, TPH posts warning signs against swimming.
Swimming is not recommended during and after storms, floods, or heavy rainfall. Cloudy water can be an indicator of high levels of bacteria that may pose a risk to human health. Conditions are based upon E. coli counts in beach water samples taken over the past 24 hours.