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BeachWise Testing Results

Beach SignageDuring the summer months, Porcupine Health Unit inspection staff monitor the conditions and the water quality of public bathing beaches. Every week, the beach water is tested for Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria. When water sample results show unacceptable levels of E. coli bacteria, warning signage will be posted at the beach to warn users that it is not safe to swim in the beach’s water. 

Please note:  The beach water status is only representative of the water quality on the date that it is sampled.

Swimming in water where bacteria levels are higher than the recommended limit can increase the risk of infections including:

  • Ear, nose, and throat infections.
  • Skin infections or rashes. Do not go into the water if you have a pre-existing infection or open wound.
  • Stomach or gastrointestinal infections.

It is not recommended to swim for two days after a heavy rainfall as this can cause high levels of bacteria in the water. Beach conditions can change frequently as a result of environmental factors and weather conditions such as heavy rain, wind condition, and presence of birds/aquatic life. The presence of birds can also increase the chance of Swimmer's Itch.

Occasionally, a beach closure is issued due to chemicals, high levels of E.coli, sewage spills, growth of blue-green algae or when other conditions exist that make the beach’s water unsafe or unsuitable for use by the public.

Human and animal activities around beaches can introduce pollutants into the water. To help improve beach water quality:

  • Do not leave your garbage behind when you visit the beach;
  • Do not feed animals or birds on the beach;
  • Do not bring pets onto the beach;
  • “Stoop and scoop” around the water area;
  • Practice pollution-free boating;
  • If you live near the beach, make sure your plumbing fixtures are properly connected for sewage disposal;
  • Fence livestock away from streams in farming communities; and
  • Control run-off from feedlots and manure piles.

Guide to Symbols

  • beach closed
  • Beaches are open.
  • Swim at your own risk.
  • beach open
  • Beach is bacteriologically unsafe.
  • Do Not Swim.
  • Swimming in these waters could cause infections of the ear, eye, nose, throat and skin as well as cause diarrhea if the water is ingested.
  • data unavailable
  • Beach sampling results are not available at this time.


Community Beach Status Date of Sample Type of Inspection
Cochrane Commando Lake beach open 2020-06-29 Routine monitoring
Hearst Johnson Lake beach open 2020-06-29 Routine monitoring
Porcupine Porcupine Lake beach open 2020-07-02 Routine monitoring
Timmins Gillies Lake beach open 2020-07-02 Routine monitoring
Timmins Hersey Lake beach open 2020-07-02 Routine monitoring