A consultant will spend the summer gathering information on Bayfront Beach to help city councillors decide what to do with the ailing swimming area.

Public Health has closed the beach at Bayfront Park for the year. It recommends the city identify ways to clean up the water — which struggles with E.coli and blue-green algae — in the long term if it wants Bayfront Beach to remain a public swimming spot. It says it should not be re-opened until the water quality issues are resolved.

Last year, Public Health closed the beach 78 per cent of the time because of poor water quality, said Eric Mathews, Public Health's safe water program manager.

Birds are largely causing the E.coli problem, Mathews said. But the blue green algae is more of a mystery.

The consultant will gather research from provincial and federal environment ministries to see how the blue green algae issue can be fixed.

It will then report back to city councillors in the fall, when councillors will make a decision on the future of the beach.