There’s good news and bad news for local beach-goers in Innisfil.
After weeks of swim advisories, warning of elevated levels of E.coli bacteria at the North Beaches at Innisfil Beach Park, those beaches are now clear and safe for swimming.
The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit samples the water at 50-plus beaches in Simcoe County and Muskoka Region on a weekly basis, checking bacteria levels and watching for other hazards, such as toxic blue-green algae.
If a swim advisory is issued, it doesn’t mean that the beaches are closed, but that anyone entering the water faces a risk of infection or bacteria-related illness. Swimmers are warned to avoid ducking their head under the surface, or swallowing the water.
The bad news is that while all of the beaches at Innisfil Beach Park, both north and south, are now deemed safe, a swim advisory has been issued for the 9th Line Beach.
The 9th Line Park was recently redeveloped, to offer a gravel parking lot, landscaping, porta-potties, and an expanse of sandy beach along the shoreline of Lake Simcoe. A rubberized mat provides water access for wheelchairs.
The beach was posted with a swim advisory on June 29, but someone took the advisory one step further, altering the sign to state that the beach is ‘Closed.’
The beach is not closed, confirmed the Town of Innisfil, but an advisory is in effect until tests show that bacteria levels have returned to normal. Staff will be repairing or replacing the altered sign.
In fact, most of the beaches tested by the health unit are safe for swimming this weekend. The exceptions are Pet Pettersen Park (swim advisory) and Little Lake (closed for blue-green algae) in Midland; Jaspen Beach at Muskoka Lakes (swim advisory); Rotary beach at Champlain Wendat Park in Penetang (swim advisory); all beaches in Ramara (closed); Centennial Park in Washago (swim advisory); Jackson Park in Tiny Twp. (swim advisory); and the 9th Line Beach in Innisfil.