The North Saskatchewan Riverkeeper’s recreational water monitoring program is releasing it’s first official results today. The program tests for E. coli as a bacteria indicator of fecal contamination in recreational waters. The Laurier Park and Capilano Park boat launches are popular river accesses within the City of Edmonton and our first official data based on our Tuesday samples are consistent with expectations and historical patterns – during a period of rain, the volume of stormwater discharges is higher and generally carries more contaminants into the river. The test results are noted below, both exceeding the federal recreational water quality acute guideline of 400 CFU/100ml (colony forming units of E. Coli per 100 millilitres of water)*. Under these conditions, the risk of contracting a waterborne illness through contact with the water is significantly increased.
Water Quality Update: Sampled August 1st, 2017
Test Result: 1953 CFU/100ml
Test Result: 634 CFU/100ml
Conditions on day of sampling: Raining, water mostly clear
Read our earlier blog post outlining the details of the monitoring program and to learn more about how to determine the safety of recreation in the river. The results posted here only reflect the water quality at the time of sampling and are only one of many factors that affect the risks associated with recreation in a moving body of water.
*note: an earlier version of this post indicated that results are compared against the federal guideline of 200 CFU/100ml. This is the chronic guideline. 400 CFU/100ml is the acute guideline and over the short term, serves as the primary standard against which to compare our results. In this case, the results exceed both the chronic and the acute standards.