The latest beach conditions report from Fraser Health indicates a high level of E. Coli bacteria in Harrison Lake Lagoon as of July 1.
The level of E.Coli bacteria is just short of twice the ideal threshold to be considered satisfactory and safe for swimming. According to Fraser Health, the ideal level of E. Coli bacteria is less than 400 per 100 millilitres; the sample from Harrison Lagoon measured at 710 per 100 millilitres.
Though these levels are higher than usual, levels reached 2,100 per 100 millilitres around this time last year.
Harrison Lake, Harrison Lagoon and Rendall Park Beach are typically sampled once a week, and those samples are then analyzed by Fraser Health. Rendall Park came in at 180, and Harrison Lake Beach, west of the lagoon, measured at 25.
Harrison Lagoon typically has issues with high E. Coli level during the drier months and later on in the summer; late June and early July is unusual. The most common source of the bacteria is feces from Canada geese.
“There is always some level of risk when swimming in untreated recreational waters; natural bodies of water are not treated to remove bacteria, are not sampled daily, and there is delay between the sampling time and the results,” Fraser Health states. “In order to minimize risk while swimming in recreational waters, one should avoid ingestion of water. Young, elderly, or immunocompromised individuals may occasionally be at greater risk depending on bacterial levels.”
If you have been swimming in Harrison Lagoon or any other recreational body of water recently and you experience vomiting, nausea or diarrhea, please seek medical attention.