Nova Scotia

More tests needed at Lake Banook

Water tests at Lake Banook in Dartmouth came back normal late Wednesday afternoon after 30 people fell ill after swimming the day before.

Water tests at Lake Banook in Dartmouth came back normal late Wednesday afternoon after 30 people fell ill after swimming the day before, but swimmers are still being advised to stay on the beach.

Birch Cove Beach was closed Tuesday because 27 swimmers and three lifeguards fell ill with a gastro-intestinal illness. One of the sick lifeguards was in hospital Wednesday.

John Henry, co-ordinator of aquatics services for the Halifax Regional Municipality, said Thursday that the water was tested for bacteria levels, but at first glance it looks like that isn't the cause.

"We do have another round of results that we're waiting for tomorrow, so we'd like to get two consecutive back-to-back ones just indicating that the fecal coliform and the bacterial count is low," he said.

"So we'll be more conclusive once we get that."

Henry said once the second round of test results are in, his department will consult with the province to discuss the next step.

"If it is something to do with water-related illness, this is uncommon. We don't see this," he said.

In the meantime, Henry said the situation at Lake Banook appears to be isolated, and there's nothing to fear at other city lakes.

"We have had no other reports from any of our beaches, and the water results have been very favourable at many of our other sites, as well," he said.

Replacement lifeguards were brought to the Birch Cove Beach to make sure nobody swims until the water is declared safe.

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