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High amounts of ‘fecal bacteria’ in Chestermere Lake prompts AHS warning

A picture warning of the closure of Chestermere Lake, Alta., due to excess fecal matter is pictured on June 17, 2022. Global News

It’s a health warning nobody wants ahead of summer, let alone as school break is about to begin – Alberta Health Services has issued a warning for Chestermere Lake as they say there are “elevated levels of fecal bacteria” present.

The public is advised not to swim or walk through the shallow parts of the water near the beach areas of Anniversary Park Beach, Cove Park Beach and Sunset Park Beach.

“Visitors and residents are reminded to never drink or cook with untreated water directly from any river, lake, or reservoir, at any time,” a news release by AHS stated.

“Water-borne organisms, including fecal bacteria, can cause vomiting and diarrhea.”

As of Friday, they say current levels of fecal bacteria may cause gastrointestinal illness and that contact with the water could also cause skin, ear and eye infections.

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Read more: Lifeguards needed at southern Alberta swimming pools

However, AHS knows there is the potential for rule-breakers and they advise those who do decide to take a dip to take precautions. Anyone going into the water should avoid contact with the face and mouth and wash their hands afterward, as it helps protect against skin, ear, and eye infections.

AHS environmental public health officers said they will continue to monitor the water surrounding the various beaches at Chestermere Lake. Signage will also be posted at common beach access points.

This advisory will remain in effect until further notice.

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