Local government authorities have removed signs recommending against swimming at a popular Shuswap beach after recent samples showed a return to good water quality.
Columbia Shuswap Regional District recommended against swimming earlier this month at a public Blind Bay beach at Shuswap Lake following a water sample that determined a 3,000-count for e. coli.
Interior Health Authority’s assistant director of health protection, Dan Ferguson, said Monday two samples taken Sept 10 came up with results of two and 76 — both in the “good” category for water quality.
High e. coli counts are considered indicators of pathogens, whether viral, bacterial or parasitic, in water.
Risks are greatest to the young or elderly, who may have weak immune systems. A range of gastro-intestinal illnesses may result from swallowing lake water while swimming when numbers are high.
But Blind Bay has returned to its typical range of zero to 100.
“We don’t know exactly,” Ferguson said of the earlier 3,000-count blip in the e. coli reading. “It’s a bit speculative.”
That speculation includes possibility of presence of feces from geese, as well as wind-blown concentration of material or stirring of substances on the lake bottom.
Water quality testing typically ends in the final week of August but was continued to ensure levels returned to normal.