Aerial view of West Vancouver, beyond Lions Gate Bridge

An aerial view looking west shows the shoreline of West Vancouver beyond the Lions Gate Bridge. Vancouver Coastal Health says three of the municipality's beaches have tested positive for high levels of E. coli in the water, and that swimmers should stay out of the water until the concentrations go down. (Vancouver Coastal Health)

Health officials are warning people against swimming at three West Vancouver beaches after routine water quality sampling turned up E.coli bacteria counts exceeding safe-level limits.

“No Swimming” advisories are now in effect for Ambleside, Dundarave and Sandy Cove beaches.

Health officials say the relatively high concentration of E.coli bacteria detected can increase a swimmer's risk of coming down with gastro-intestinal illness.

E.coli is considered to be an indicator organism associated with fecal contamination from either human or animal 

Vancouver Coastal Health says it is investigating the cause of the elevated bacteria count.

E. coli counts for the Vancouver-area beaches are updated every Friday, based on sampling results provided by the Greater Vancouver Regional District Water Quality Laboratory.

Click here to be taken to the weekly beach water quality reports.