3 Vancouver Island beaches unsafe for swimming

Three beaches on Vancouver Island have been deemed unsafe for swimming, putting a damper on the official start of summer — and vacation plans for many British Columbians.

Fecal matter from water fowl have created high levels of bacteria in the water

Cordova Bay is one of three Vancouver Island beaches currently deemed unsafe for swimming.

Three beaches on Vancouver Island have been deemed unsafe for swimming, putting a damper on the official start of summer — and vacation plans for many British Columbians.

The Vancouver Island Health Authority has issued an advisory for Beaver Lake and Cordova Bay in Saanich, citing high levels of bacteria in the water, while Art Mann Park near Duncan has been issued a permanent no-swim advisory because of long-standing high levels of bacteria.

While the beaches aren’t actually closed to the public, they are not considered safe for swimming.

“Swimming in contaminated water can result in increased risk of ear, nose and throat infections or gastrointestinal illnesses,” the advisory states.

Officials say the high levels of bacteria are the result of animal feces from water fowl.

Earlier this month about 80 people fell ill after swimming in Thetis Lake. Island Health determined the cause was an outbreak of norovirus.

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