Water quality concerns grow as temperatures continue to climb in Maritimes
HALIFAX -- A popular Nova Scotia beach is once again suitable for swimming after bacteria readings came back at an acceptable level.
Many who visited Queensland Beach over the weekend stayed out of the water due to high bacteria levels.
"This morning, Monday morning, we received results that everything checked out fine," said Paul D'eon with the Nova Scotia Lifeguarding Service.
D'eon said it’s difficult to pinpoint what caused the high reading.
"When we did the Queensland test, it was quite wavy and there was lots of seaweed,” said D’eon. “So I don’t know if that contributed to the poor water quality test, and we may never know.”
Meanwhile, other beaches remained closed on Monday.
Albro Lake in Dartmouth, N.S., remains closed to swimming due to high bacteria reading. Lake Banook and Lake Micmac also have a risk advisory for swimming due to blue-green algae, and the possibility of cyanobacteria being in the water.
"Once we get above 25 degrees celsius, and a lot of our water bodies are getting above 25 in the summers now, we see cyanobacteria really kind of take over," said University of New Brunswick biologist Janice Lawrence.
"If the weather patterns stay the same with really sunny days and lots of heat, I would expect to see the cyanobacteria population sort of persist long throughout," said Lawrence. "I certainly know, from our monitoring the last few years, we've seen cyanobacteria populations maintain their presence right through to October."
Officials advise anyone planning a swimming trip to check ahead and make sure there are no advisories in effect.
New Brunswick does testing for harmful bacteria at nine provincial beaches, while 20 beaches are tested by the Nova Scotia Lifeguarding Service. Another 19 beaches are tested by lifeguards with the Halifax Regional Municipality.