Chestermere Lake closed for swimming due to ‘excessive’ levels of fecal matter

Town of Chestermere Recreation staff put up signage on Friday, August 14, 2020 notifying visitors of a swimming advisory due to health hazards at the lake east of Calgary. The beach areas and beaches will remain open at no charge during the investigative period, but access to the water from the beaches will be closed and signs posted advising of the potential health hazard. Jim Wells/Postmedia

Chestermere Lake has been forced to close after “excessive” levels of fecal matter were found in the water, says city officials.

The City of Chestermere said Friday Alberta Health Services (AHS) is investigating recent test results that indicated the rise in fecal matter at the popular summer spot.

“While the beaches and beach areas will remain open during this investigative period, access to the water from the beaches will be closed and signage (will be) posted advising of the potential health risks related to entering the water,” said the City of Chestermere in a statement.

“According to Alberta Health Services guidance, gastrointestinal illness may result from contact with contaminated water and there is the possibility of skin, ear and eye infections with water contact.”

The problem was discovered due to the city’s weekly water quality testing program, which is conducted by a private company.

The swimming advisory will remain in effect until further notice. City officials said the closure will, at least, go into next week while additional tests are conducted.

Motorized and non-motorized boats and rafts will be allowed in the lake as long as users don’t physically enter the water.

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