Nova Scotia

New Lake Banook test shows safe bacteria levels

Results of a second water quality test on Thursday fail to shed light on what has been making people sick at Lake Banook in Dartmouth.

Results of a second water quality test on Thursday fail to shed light on what has been making people sick at Lake Banook in Dartmouth.

Birch Cove beach has been closed since Tuesday after three lifeguards fell ill and more than 30 people who use the beach came down with a gastrointestinal illness.

City officials said the second water test — like the first done on Wednesday — showed that bacteria counts fall within the normal range considered safe for swimming.

"Public health nurses are following up with the people who are calling in reporting that they were ill or family members were ill to get a good idea of activities they were involved with at the beach," said Linda Passerini, an environmental health consultant with the province.

"So were they swimming, suntanning, just wading in the water, paddling at the beach? Were they in the picnic area? So, what did they do when they were at the beach that day?" are just some of the questions nurses are asking, said Passerini.

Health officials say they don't plan to reopen the beach until they're sure there's no risk to the public.

now