British Columbia

E. coli levels in False Creek have potential to rise even higher

E. coli numbers in False Creek peaked in August 2014 and this summer's numbers are already higher than last year.

Data shows worst may be yet to come for E. coli levels in False Creek this summer

The water near Science World showed the highest levels of E. Coli in False Creek. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

A look at E. coli levels for the past six years reveal a drastic spike in last year's numbers. This year's levels are already higher than average as well.

Numbers analysed by CBC represent E.coli parts per 100ml of water in False Creek.

City officials acknowledge the high numbers this year, and say they are working toward keeping the levels down. 

"This year it's been very warm and very dry, so we're seeing higher counts earlier than normal," said Brian Crowe, director of water sewers and district energy for the city.

In June Vancouver's Park Board launched a campaign aimed at keeping fecal matter out of local waters.

But False Creek has not always been this dirty. In 2012 the waters there were clean enough to swim in until August.

False Creek is not an area people usually want to wade into, but the area is a popular paddling spot for residents and tourists.

Vancouver Coastal Health advises residents to check water quality levels before swimming at beaches.

The presence of E. coli bacteria is an indicator of fecal matter from humans or animals.

Vancouver Coastal Health released new numbers Thursday, revealing a slight dip in E. coli levels at 1184/100ml.


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