Swimmers and sun seekers are being advised to avoid the Elbow River within the city of Calgary because the water is contaminated with high levels of fecal bacteria.
“Due to elevated levels of fecal coliforms that continue to be detected in the water of the Elbow River (within the city of Calgary, between Sandy Beach and 9 Ave. S.E.), Alberta Health Services (AHS) is again issuing a reminder to the public not to swim or wade in the Elbow River at or between the above sites,” AHS said in a news release Thursday.
The advisory was originally put in place by AHS on July 8, 2016, but AHS said they wanted to remind Calgary residents of the hazard as the summer season has begun.
“If members of the public do decide to access the river, they should take precautions to protect themselves,” AHS said. “Avoid contact with the face/mouth and ensure hands are washed after being in the river as water-borne organisms, including fecal coliforms, can cause vomiting and diarrhea.”
AHS added that proper handwashing can also protect against skin, ear and eye infections that may result from contact with water from the river.
“AHS Environmental Public Health officers will continue to monitor the water of the Elbow River and signage has been posted at common river access points,” AHS said.