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Don’t drink the water in Port Moody inlet: Fraser Health

Warm weather has led to an increase in the E. coli levels in the water around Rocky Point Park and the Port Moody Inlet, prompting a warning from the Fraser Health Authority. - TRI-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO
Warm weather has led to an increase in the E. coli levels in the water around Rocky Point Park and the Port Moody Inlet, prompting a warning from the Fraser Health Authority.
— image credit: TRI-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO

Fraser Health Authority is warning people to avoid contact with the water around Rocky Point in Port Moody after high levels of E. coli were discovered during a recent test.

And, yesterday afternoon, a city of Port Moody spokesperson said it would be posting advisories at Old Orchard Beach to notify swimmers to stay out of the water there, too. Dave Teixeira asked the public to check with the city website (portmoody.ca) before wading into the water this week and next.

Fraser Health consultant Tasleem Juma said Rocky Point advisory was precautionary, noting that a person would only get sick if they fell into the water and ingested some of it. “If they just fall in without swallowing any water, they should be fine,” she said in an email. “If they do swallow the water and feel ill, they should call their doctor, go to walk-in clinic or call public health to get checked out.”

The recent increase in E. coli levels is being blamed on the hot temperature but Juma said similar incidents can also occur during cooler weather.

Fraser Health issued its warning on Tuesday and said staff would continue to monitor the water quality until coliform levels returned to normal. There are currently signs at Rocky Point Park warning park-goers of the potential hazards the water can cause.

“We will conduct follow-up testing and will advise the city when the coliform levels have come down,” she added. “At that point, the city can remove the signage.”

In the meantime, recreational power boaters, sailors, kayakers, paddleboarders and canoeists can still go out on the water as long as they avoid drinking it. Fraser Health also recommends that people keep their pets on shore.

For the moment, the E. coli increase appears to be concentrated around the beach at Rocky Point. Juma noted that the water on the other side of the Port Moody Inlet at Old Orchard Park was still safe for swimming.

gmckenna@tricitynews.com

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